Is Sitting the New Smoking?


Let’s face it, as Americans, we spend a lot of time sitting. According to Annals of Internal Medicine, the average adult spends more than half of the waking hours sitting. That seems like a lot, but think about it. We drive to work (30 minutes sitting) then sit at our desk job (8 hours sitting) before driving home (30 minutes sitting) to have dinner (30 minutes sitting) and end the stressful day on the couch watching tv (1+ hours sitting). That’s 10.5 hours right there, just sitting!

Effects on the Body

Dr. James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic – Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, has been studying the adverse effects of sedentary lifestyles for years. He sums up his work into two sentences, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more dangerous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Multiple studies have proven Dr. Levine’s point again and again finding that overly sedentary people (most of us) are more at risk for:

Prevention Tips

There is an obvious solution here: get up! Whenever you have the chance move around. Walk around when you are talking on the phone, reach your 10,000 steps/day, walk your dog, get a standing desk, read on the treadmill, limit your screen time, set an alarm every hour to get up and move around, and anything else that make you sit less and move more.


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