Can sitting too much kill us?

 Can sitting too much kill us? We spend most of our day sitting down —you may be right now.

A new study links a lot of sitting to dying early even if you exercise. It’s also related to higher rates of heart disease, cancer, and hospitalization.

Researchers looked at 47 studies asking people how much time they spent sitting and exercising. The study shows heavy sitters are at a 90% higher risk of developing diabetes compared to those who sat less.

It also showed an 18% higher chance of heart disease or cancer, and 24% greater odds of dying from any cause.

Marissa Stewart-Jaynes said she’s trying to stand more, but as a doctor at Mercy Primary Care in Lyon County, sometimes it can be difficult.

“Even if you do exercise that hour a day you’re still spending the other 23 hours, or the majority of that time sitting,” Stewart-Jaynes said.

She said, sitting restricts blood-flow -making your heart miss that extra pump and squeeze.

“It may allow for more chances of plaque and deposits to build up in the arteries leading to cardiovascular disease,” Stewart-Jaynes said.

Sitting is also hard on your pancreas.

“Your body doesn’t recognize your own insulin as well, and so you’re releasing more insulin. So, that can also affect diabetes down the road,” Stewart-Jaynes said.

So, how can we sit less? Stewart-Jaynes suggests to try standing while doing your work in five-minute intervals every 30 minutes.

“It may not have to be every 30 minutes, but every hour you know, or when you go to get the bathroom, maybe do a couple extra laps at the office at that point,” Stewart-Jaynes said.

Another thing you can do, while you’re watching TV during the commercials stand up and walk around for 1 or 2 minutes. If you want to hold yourself accountable see if there’s a step tracker for your phone.

“Really just anything you can do to get that blood flow increasing you know? As many stretches as you can do during the workday, and just trying to get those muscles moving,” Stewart-Jaynes said.

Stewart-Jaynes said there’s a difference between moving and getting a cardiovascular benefit. She recommends working in exercise that gets you out of breath or works up a sweat, that way it’ll help blood flow and possibly lower your blood pressure.

A little more movement mixed with less sitting. So you can stand up, for a healthier lifestyle.

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