Pratt: Sitting is the new smoking

Long periods of sitting can increase your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain and other chronic diseases.

We tend to spend more time sitting than any other population in our history.

For many of us, our jobs and our leisure time centre around activities that keep us in front of a screen and on our seats.

In fact, the average adult spends 90 per cent of their leisure time sitting down.

A recent study by the American Institute of Cancer Research shows that long periods of sitting can increase your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain and other chronic diseases.

The surprising fact was that this risk is not limit to people that are sedentary to begin with, but also to those that exercise regularly.

Contrary to most theories about exercise and health, it appears that going to gym a few times a week, or even exercising every day, does not cancel out the negative health effects of prolonged sitting and an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

Researchers in the field of sedentary behavior make recommend that people with sedentary jobs and lifestyles interrupt prolonged sitting with at least one to two  minute breaks of brisk activity, every hour or two.

For example, going for a walk around the block/office, taking the stairs to get your daily coffee, running in place or jumping jacks to get your body moving.

When you move your body, your leg muscles are active, which aids in decreasing blood glucose and blood fats from the bloodstream.

When you sit, the muscles are inactive, which results in increased levels of fats in the blood, lower levels of good cholesterol and decreased insulin sensitivity.

So when you’re exercising and moving, positive benefits are occurring throughout your body in addition to the natural endorphins and happy hormones felt from exercise.

If you have a sedentary lifestyle, or even an active lifestyle, but a sedentary job, do consider scheduling regular breaks every one to two hours for two minutes from sitting in order to decrease your potential health risks.

Emily Pratt is a naturopathic physician in Kelowna.

778-478-0548 www.drpratt.ca

Just Posted

Truck fire knocked down on Highway 97

The blaze has been knocked down by fire crews

More showings of controversial movie Unplanned scheduled in West Kelowna

One of the additional shows sold out in three minutes at the Landmark Xtreme

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

Single vehicle roll over in West Kelowna sends one to hospital

One person sent to hospital with non life-threatening injuries

Rockets’ Thomson signs entry-level contract with Ottawa Senators

The defenceman was taken 19th overall by Ottawa in June’s NHL Entry Draft

UPDATE: special council meeting set for Wednesday, Basran in talks with province

Opponents of McCurdy house says she won’t ‘relinquish possession’ of more than 14,000 names

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Mercury tops out on top of the world: Alert in Nunavut warmer than Victoria

It’s the latest anomaly in what’s been a long, hot summer across the Arctic

PHOTOS: Okanagan MetalFest event rocks

Big crowds gather for popular two-day annual heavy metal music festival in tiny Armstrong

Canadian is detained in China on drug allegations: Chinese government

Detention of a Canadian in China comes as part a diplomatic dispute triggered by arrest of Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

Too much time on social media can hurt teens’ mental health: study

Researchers conducted a four-year survey of more than 3,800 adolescents between Grades 7 and 11

Most Read