SITTING IS FATTENING! Are you Sitting Too Much? How much is too much? Well, some would say that our bottoms were created for sitting! Sitting is a good thing! So what’s the big deal? Sitting is indeed a good thing, but the big deal is that too much of a good thing is still too much! Sleeping is a good thing, but too much sleeping is a not a good thing. Eating is a good thing, but too much eating is not a good thing. Working is a good thing, but too much working is not a good thing. Sitting is a good thing, but too much sitting is not a good thing!
Over half of the average person’s day is spent sitting! We are spending more time off our feet than ever before. Sitting is a default body posture, and when people work, socialize, study or travel, they often do so in a seated position. It’s second nature to us, that when we see a chair we head towards it.
The typical office worker may spend up to a staggering 15 hours per day. We go from bed to kitchen breakfast chair to automobile seat to office desk chair to break room chair back to office desk chair to the automobile seat to dining room chair to couch and back to bed. Sound familiar?
Sitting Steals Valuable Calories You Can Burn Daily! Your everyday physical activities, like standing, walking, bending, stretching, stair-climbing and even fidgeting use your muscles and burn calories. Sitting or lying down, and even leaning reduces energy expenditure. In my Health Coaching practice, I call this “Functional Fitness” and I teach a wide variety of these energy expenditures aka NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) to my clients.
Sitting will make you fat. The longer you sit, the fatter you will become. Obese individuals sit for an average of 2 hours longer each day than lean people do.
Sitting is Linked to Early Death and more than 30 Chronic Diseases and Conditions and most important to me and my coaching is the risk of type 2 diabetes, and a 147% increase in heart disease risk. The more sedentary you are, the more likely you are to die early. In fact, the most sedentary people had a 22-49% greater risk of early death.
As a Certified Health Coach, I am devoted to my client’s health. Nearly 3/4 of of my clients come to me with a desire to lower their weight and look better in their jeans, and only 1/4 of them come to me to lower their risks of death due to diabetes, cholesterol, or blood pressure. However, 100% of my energy and efforts for all of my clients is to educate them for a lifestyle change that will promote health and wellness long term.
Walking fewer than 1,500 steps per day, or sitting for long periods without reducing calorie intake, can cause a major increase in insulin resistance. I find that Insulin resistance is a huge, if not the key, driver of type 2 diabetes among other diseases, and it is linked directly to sedentary behavior.
Exercising for 60 minutes a day, so that you can sit or lie down for the other 23 hours is not going to cut it. I believe that the research proves that a sedentary life, one of much sitting, has a direct effect on insulin resistance, and sadly, one hour of intense exercise cannot make up for the negative effects of inactivity! However, I should add that though prolonged sitting is strongly linked to a negative health outcome, regardless of exercise levels, and the negative effects are even greater for people who rarely exercise.Just like you can’t outrun a bad diet, you can’t out-exercise a sedentary lifestyle.
What is the bottom line? (pun intended) We spend too much time sitting and we are only now beginning to study the negative effect it is proven to have on all of us. That is not to say that you need to stand all the time and not relax, just that you should try to minimize the time to spend sitting during the day. Track it like you track your food or water intake.