The amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death, regardless of regular exercise, according to a review study published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.“More than one half of an average person’s day is spent being sedentary — sitting, watching television, or working at a computer,” said Dr. David Alter, Senior Scientist, Toronto Rehab, University Health Network (UHN), and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. “Our study finds that despite the health-enhancing benefits of physical activity, this alone may not be enough to reduce the risk for disease.”
The meta-analysis study reviewed studies focused on sedentary behaviour. The lead author is Avi Biswas, PhD candidate, Toronto Rehab, UHN and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, and the senior author is Dr. Alter, who is also Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto.
What to do?
Walking during the day: Quit Sitting And Walk: Hourly 5-Minute Walks Found To Undo Side Effects Of Prolonged Sitting
Set a timer: Tracy and I both write using the Pomodoro technique, short focused bursts with breaks. We use timers and that makes taking a break from sitting easy.
In the evening?: I’m good during the day–I work at a standing desk for at least half the time–but nights can be a challenge when I’m not out doing Aikido or riding my bike. Sometimes at night I just want to watch Netflix or sit in a comfy chair with a book. I foam roll in the evening, and there’s lots of household chores to keep me hopping. Weekends, I worry about movies. It doesn’t sound like much but 2 hours or more sitting really isn’t my thing. See Life as a shark!
What do you do to sit less?