It has almost become a cliché now to say that sitting down for longer periods of time is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death. We are in sync with standing desks, walking meetings and exercise ball chairs which are small initiatives both from the employer’s as well as the employee’s side to minimize sedentary seating time at office and increase active time. There have been previous studies quoting that the effects of sitting negate the effects of exercising or being active through the rest of the day but sometime later we also had studies showing that standing too long sometimes surpasses the ill effects of sitting down. For more details on the disadvantages of standing for too much time visit www.firsteatright.com. Isn’t it so confusing to realize that neither sitting nor standing are any good for our health?
Life is a balance between many things and the quality of life depends on how well you manage these things and take them forward. We cannot change our job requirements nor throw away our desk jobs just because they increase our sedentary hours spent. After all, its our bread and butter for leading a good life. All that we can do is get around staying active and healthy by all other means. This includes going for a walk, playing some games, swimming, walking, jogging, dancing or likewise. While sitting does come with its own disadvantages a new study comes with this surprising fact that not all types of sitting are created equally.
The Sitting Bias
This study exactly involved 3,592 participants all of whom were Africans American. Each of the participants reported how much time they spent watching TV, They also reported spending time watching TV, sitting down to do work or doing much of exercise during the sedentary time. Results showed that participants who clocked maximum hours watching television (4 or more hours daily) and suffered from a 70% increased risk of cardiovascular events and death in comparison to those who watched minimal amount of television (less than 2 hours daily).
Despite the fact that you might be a crazy fan of television sitting in front of it for hours together without moving even to use the bathroom at work, most of us walk every now and then while at office during work and this is in every way better than sitting down with a tub of popcorns in hand. So, the combination of both, sitting together continuously for hours together and eating a large meal might be the deadliest combination. Watching television is not bad and it doesn’t mean that you are a couch potato. Take a small break from your series-watching spree, go for a walk or jog around to diminish the ill-effects of sitting. Remember, any type of exercise that gets the heart beating faster and the breathing harder is good for the body.
While the tactic seems good on most people there are some individuals such as truck drivers who cannot take a break while sitting and driving. But for those working in banks, IT companies and likewise it is recommended that you get up and take a break from your sitting schedule. Its been reported that performing moderate or vigorous physical activity such as walking, aerobic exercise and any sport reduce the risk of death, stroke or heart attack. When individuals followed this routine (engaged in these exercises) they did not face any increased risk of death, stroke or heart attack even when they watching TV for more than 4 hours a day. This study seems to be an eyeopener for many of those who are sedentary.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.