There is a new theory that “sitting” is the new “smoking” in terms of negative health effects. That is a pretty bold statement when you consider the deadly consequences of smoking.
And sadly, anyone who has an office job is likely sitting for at least 6 hours a day, not including any “relaxing” time at home in front of the TV after work.
According to the 2015 Inaugural Active Working Summit, the average adult American spends 9-10 hours sitting every day, and with the growing gaming culture, children and teens are not far behind. (1)
And, if you happen to work in the telecommunications industry, you are actually spending up to 12 hours sitting every day!
Figure in an 8-hour sleep and you are only on your feet for 6 hours in a 24-hour day. That’s pretty startling when you actually think about it.
The Summit further revealed that long periods of sitting have been shown to increase lung cancer by as much as 54 percent, uterine cancer by a whopping 66 percent, and colon cancer by 30 percent. (2)
This does not even include the other health issues such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even brain damage just to name a few of the other negative effects caused by endless sitting.
In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, extended sitting increases your risk of death from any cause by close to 50 percent and amazingly, raises your risk of cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack by 125 percent. (3)
Another study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that for every hour you spend watching TV (or gaming or just sitting doing nothing) after the age of 25, you lower your life expectancy by as much as 22 minutes. (4)
And the bad news is according to Dr. James Levine, author of Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It, doing regular exercise alone WILL NOT protect you against, or counter, the negative effects caused by this prolonged sitting. He states, “The bottom-line is that if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting for too long. We should all be up at least 10 minutes out of every hour.” (5)
Now, the good news—new (and old) research shows that regular yoga can actually counter the effects of sitting. Studies show yoga can lower your risk of cancer and improve the success rate of cancer survivors. (6)