Effects of Sedentary Lifestyle — They’re Even Worse Than You Think

Even I didn’t real­ize how dev­as­tat­ing it is for your health to sit in front of your TV.

It turns out that sit­ting in front of a TV or com­put­er for more than an hour or two a day destroys your health so thor­ough­ly that you can’t coun­ter­bal­ance it with a gym work­out.

combat sedentary lifestyle effects

He’s Not Sit­ting

The lat­est research pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Col­lege of Car­di­ol­o­gy stud­ied the health risk of star­ing into a screen for enter­tain­ment as a fac­tor inde­pen­dent of the amount of exer­cise you get.

The shock­ing find­ings?  You can dou­ble your risk of heart dis­ease if you spend more than four hours a day with this form of pas­sive enter­tain­ment.

This line of sci­en­tif­ic inquiry reminds me of some of the ear­li­est research find­ings on phys­i­cal activ­i­ty and car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk.  One of the impor­tant ear­ly stud­ies com­pared two groups of men: postal car­ri­ers who go door-to-door and postal clerks who sit and sort mail.  This was back in the dark ages, before “fit­ness” was a craze.

The two groups earned the same salary and shared the same gen­er­al social sta­tus.  Guess what?  As you could expect, the mail car­ri­ers were a healthy bunch and the mail sorters were a mess.

What that means for you

You’ve got to be more active.

  • Walk or bike places instead of tak­ing the car or pub­lic trans­porta­tion.
  • Climb the stairs.
  • Set up one of those rebound­ers in front of your TV and bounce for half an hour while enjoy­ing your favorite show.
  • A yoga class at lunch?  Sounds like fun to me.
  • Stand at your desk instead of sit­ting for an hour or two every day.
  • Jump­ing rope is invig­o­rat­ing – plus if you live in an apart­ment you can real­ly annoy the peo­ple down­stairs.
  • Make a total fool of your­self and learn (or relearn) how to hula hoop.
  • When you shop for gro­ceries, don’t take a rolling cart – car­ry a bas­ket.
  • Park in the most dis­tant pos­si­ble park­ing spot at the mall.
  • Chase your cat around the house.  Walk the dog.
  • Smash your tele­vi­sion (I hear that rais­es your IQ by 20 points, by the way).
  • Sal­sa dance class (though I’m rather fond of the fox­trot myself).
  • Take your kids out­side to play and try to keep up with them.
  • Join a fit­ness walk­ing group.
  • Rake the leaves in your yard, don’t blow them.
  • Play cards or backgam­mon instead of flip­ping on the TV set (yes, even these pas­times are more active than tele­vi­sion).
  • Quit your job and become a mail car­ri­er.

Don’t wait to get more wacky ideas from me.  Just get mov­ing.

Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Fit­ness is child’s play

Den­tal health and heart dis­ease

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About Aaron Bynen

Aaron is a health conscious individual living in the Pacific Northwest.

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