Sitting is the new smoking

by | Dec 7, 2014 | Bone Health, Brain Health, Heart Health, Joint Health, Lifestyle & Leisure | 0 comments

Too much sitting is bad for your health. In fact, it’s turning out that prolonged sitting ranks near the top of the list – along with smoking and obesity – of factors contributing to chronic health problems.

When you sit

  • Your muscles aren’t burning as much fat – so fat clogs your arteries and puts a load on your heart.
  • Your blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure rise.
  • Your muscle cells become less sensitive to insulin, and your pancreas responds by producing more of it. This cycle is a precursor to diabetes.
  • Your risk for common cancers (breast and colon) inches up.
  • You lose muscle mass, especially in the gluteals and abdominals, important groups for core postural support.
  • You lose bone mass.
  • You get tight hip flexors and stress your hip joints.
  • There’s excess pressure on the discs of your low back.
  • You’re missing out on the brain stimulation provided by movement activity.
  • You distort the alignment of your upper back and neck, contributing to headache, muscle aches, and eye strain.

smashing television

What to do

  • Blow up your TV. Or at least stand up part of the time while you’re watching. Walk around during commercials.
  • Switch your desk so you can stand (at least part of the workday.) Better yet invest in a treadmill desk.
  • Elongate your hip flexors with a lunging stretch.
Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

• Get a giant gym ball to sit on.

• Take your bike not the car.

Dr. Lavine has been an innovator in the use of movement and touch to promote health since 1981. He practices in New York City and Princeton, NJ.


Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

More on sedentary lifestyle effects

Warning: consult a physician before beginning any program of physical inactivity

Perform this exercise while you’re sitting and it will change your life


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