Sitting down could be killing you

Tuesday 19th January 2010

Millions of us do it on a daily basis; we sit in our cars to get to work then sit at our desks for the majority of the day before sitting back in our cars so we can get home to sit on our sofas. However, a recent study that has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has shockingly claimed that long periods of sitting could be severely decreasing our health with no amount of exercise being able to help this muscular inactivity.

The research as conducted in Sweden by two different institutes shows how a lot of muscular inactivity involved in long periods of sitting can only increase the risk of diseases such as cancer, diabetes but more worrying an increased risk of death! Furthermore, one of the researchers from Stockholm’s School of Sport and Health Sciences, Dr. Elin Ekblom-Bak, goes on to suggest that their research has proven what many thought previously is indeed wrong. It was previously thought that exercise would help eradicate such risks involved with prolonged muscular inactivity, but in fact such extensive periods of sitting cannot be dealt with by exercise. She does suggest that taking a five minute break to walk across the office every 45 minutes could help reduce the risks. However, with it being so easy to e-mail or phone our colleagues as opposed to walking across to them, sitting becomes much too easy. To show how significant these examinations are one only need look at a study conducted in Australia in which it was found that for every additional hour women spent sat down their risk of heart disease and diabetes grew by a quarter.

Whilst more studies are needed to confirm and extend this recent research, it does provide a worrying message to the millions of us who spent the majority of our days sat down. Equally, Dr. Ekblom-Bak insists that sitting should be signified as a risk to health on its own as opposed to being accompanied with lack of exercise. So, perhaps when you go to e-mail your colleague that telephone message today, you should instead write it on a post-it note and totter across the office to give it to them. 

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