Too Much Sitting Puts Your Health at Risk - Ascension Wisconsin

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Published on January 20, 2016

Too Much Sitting Puts Your Health at Risk

Research has found sedentary behavior, including sitting for long periods of time, increases the risk for:

  • Obesity
  • Increased blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • Excess body fat around the waist
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels

Too much sitting is also linked to the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Why Movement Matters

The solution to this growing problem seems to be more moving overall. The impact of movement, even leisurely movement, can be profound. For starters, you'll burn more calories which may lead to weight loss and increased energy.

Also, the muscle activity needed for standing and other movement seems to trigger important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body.

When you sit, these processes stall and your health risks increase. When you're standing or actively moving, you kick those processes back into action.

“The key is breaking up your activity throughout the day,” said Dr. Cindy Catania, family medicine physician with Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group. “Sitting all day and standing all day are both bad for you. All-day movement is now seen as being just as important for the maintenance of good health as traditional exercise."

Tips to Break Up Long Periods of Sitting

Dr. Catania suggests these sitting breaks:

  • Stand while talking on the phone.
  • Walk laps with your colleagues instead of sitting in a conference room.
  • Take a ten minute standing or walking break every hour.
  • Try to move after a meal; it helps with blood glucose spikes.
  • Use television commercials as a signal to get up and move.
  • Set a timer at work to remind you to stand or walk.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

To learn more about how you can improve your overall health and wellness, visit our Health Library and learn about our BeHealthy initiative with WITI FOX6.

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Too Much Sitting Puts Your Health at Risk