Sitting is the New Smoking

If you're like most Americans, you probably spend most of your day sitting. Whether its at you're at your work desk, in front of the TV, or just in your leisure time, we're all accustomed to this lifestyle. But, as long as you get some exercise during the day, you'll be fine, right? Well, partly right. There's been a lot of buzz lately about sitting – which, ironically, you may want to sit down for. Or not.

“Sitting is the New Smoking” is starting to spread everywhere. Recent research about the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle done by Dr. James Levine, director of Mayo Clinic – Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, has declared that Americans are more lazy now than ever. So lazy, that the averse effects of sitting are starting to mirror health problems usually associated with chain smoking. Here's the evidence to prove it:

1.) Higher Risk of Diabetes and Obesity
Like smoking, sitting for prolonged sitting can negatively affect your blood sugar and insulin levels. A sedentary lifestyle with too much sitting will only continue cultivating this in your body – making you not only susceptible to obesity, but also diabetes. The solution? Get your blood flowing and move a little! Try getting up to walk around every hour or so – whether its around the block or just down the hallway. You can even spend some time standing while you watch TV. Don't be fooled by how little these changes are – they'll make a huge difference in your health.

2.) Muscle Imbalances and Bad Posture
Working at a desk job for 8 hours at a time with little breaks has been proven to have horrible affects on your back and total body alignment. Too much time spent stuck in a seated position may build improper muscle balances. Plus, time spent in a long commute and then sitting in front of the TV at the end of the day may cause you to maintain these imbalances. Try getting up and stretching from time to time, loosen your muscles, release any tensions.

3.) Will Reduce Effects of Your Daily Workout
So, you do an hour of cardio at the gym a day. Great. You get a free pass and can sit the rest of the day, right? Nope! While it is great and necessary that you maintain your daily workout routine, you still need to incorporate frequent movement throughout the day. Too much sitting will slow down your metabolism, slowing the rate of your weight loss. Sitting also slows down the protein that is supposed to keep your cardiovascular system healthy. Result? All that cardio at the gym - not as effective.

4.) Creates Higher Susceptibility to Depression
Regular movement produces endorphins, promoting a happier, more energized brain. A sedentary lifestyle will barely produce this chemical. Instead, you can cultivate lethargy, stress, and depression.

But don't let this information scare you! Making little adjustments – like choosing to stand more instead of sitting, walking up the stairs, biking to work, etc – can all make a huge difference! Get moving!

Source: Runner's World