Sitting Makes Us Fat. What to Do about It!

My Bariatric Life Health Guide February 10, 2013

    Hours per Day Sitting


    It’s a sad fact that the majority of working Americans lead very sedentary lives. Ours is a country in which 220 million adults average an hour and a half a day in their cars. Generally, these folks are going to and from jobs where-in they are chained to their desks, namely their computer screens, for eight-hours per day. After all that sitting, they spend additional 34-hours each week sitting in front of the TV, on average. Or, if you’re like me, those additional hours might be spent sitting, once again, in front of your computer – this time for “pleasure.”

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    The point is… we aren’t up and about. A quick tally of the numbers above show we spend an average of about 85-hours per week sitting. The massive obesity epidemic persists.


    Some say this sitting is killing us.


    Why Sitting is Killing Us


    Recent research suggests that sitting is killing people but what drives that association is unclear.  An analysis published in the British Medical Journal suggests that the life expectancy of the entire U.S. population could increase if Americans simply reduce the amount of time they spend sitting.


    The researchers calculated that limiting the time Americans spend sitting to three hours or fewer each day would increase the life expectancy of the U.S. population by 2 years. Cutting down TV watching to fewer than two hours each day would bump life expectancy up by another 1.4 years.


    The industry continues to debate the harmful health effects stemming from sedentary lifestyles. Many argue that technology is only adding fuel to the fire. So if sitting is killing us, can we turn the tide and use technology to save us?


    Sitting makes us fat. Fitbit can get us moving.


    Can technologies like the FitBit Zip Wireless Activity Tracker get Americans off our butts?

    Regularly Interrupt Sitting


    Barring hazardous conditions, the healthiest workplace most likely is one where employees are actively mobile. For most of us, sitting for 8-hours a day at our jobs is inevitable. So be sure to interrupt sitting whenever you can, because even the recommended 30-min of activity per day is not enough.


    Non-sitting time adds up. Take every opportunity to walk around the office. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking burns 3-5x more calories than sitting does! And interrupt sitting at regular intervals throughout the day.


    There are apps that will help you do just that! Computer applications guide you through small scheduled exercise breaks – so by the end of the work day you can complete as much as 45-minutes of exercise. Read 5 Exercise Apps for the Office – (Mostly) Free Downloads


    Extra sitting outside of work can turn a serious sedentary problem dangerous. Away from your office computer, there are devices and mobile apps that will get you moving. Check out wearable wireless activity trackers such as the Fuelband, FitLink, and FitBit. There also are free apps that track your activity like the new MoveApp for your Smartphone. Read Move App Tracks Your Steps from the iPhone


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    While getting up and moving is easy, be sure you are fit for exercise. If you have physical limitations, see a fitness professional for specific guidance.


    Think about it. How many hours per day do you spend sitting? What are you going to do about it?


    If you enjoyed this article, you also may wish to read, “Internet Use, Obesity, and Poor Health – America’s New “Sitting Disease” or “Teaching Kids to Eat Healthy Using Online Games.”


    Living life well-fed,



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