RULE: Sitting is the New Smoking

A recent article in Runner’s World (a world I do not live in BTW) warns “the more you sit, the poorer your health and the earlier you may die…NO MATTER HOW FIT YOU ARE”

The latest studies show sitting, for long periods of time, like more than 6 hours a day, can be just as detrimental to your health as smoking.   Prolonged sitting is horrible for your spine, makes your muscles atrophy and results in obesity.  Hunching over a desk results in terrible posture, tight shoulders, a weak core, neck and low back pain, not to mention your computer screen’s damaging effect on vision.

fat ass in chair

This is bad news for the 100+ million Americans who sit about 9 hours, each day. We sit at the breakfast table, then in a car, train or bus commuting to work, then sit at a desk, counter or computer for 8 hours, then sit on the return commute to get home in time to sit at the dinner table and then follow all that sitting time with a little more sitting in front of the TV.

The same health concerns apply to kids who sit on the way to school and then for 6-8 hours at school and then sit some more while doing homework, dinner and TV time.

They say even adult ‘binge exercisers’, those who bang out an hour at the gym each day, cannot undo the colossal amount of time they spend on their rear ends.

To offset all of this sedentation,  some schools are using stools instead of seats, so kids will have to engage their core muscles while seated.  Some people are choosing to bike to work or take long walks on their lunch breaks.  Some companies are providing standing work stations.  Although, long periods of standing are also tough on the spine and circulation (think varicose veins), so some really slick work places are providing standing work stations with treadmills!  Employees can their walk on while they work (I smell a workers comp injury).  Some people are simply opting for jobs where they can be outdoors.

So, until we all figure out a way to walk, jog, repel, ski, dance, glide, skate, ride, box, roll, skip, jump, climb, sail, float, zip or paddle through our days….we just need to remember to get off our cans and MOVE OUR BODIES.  Not once a day. But as often as possible.  Unless early death sounds alluring.

Hourly office dance parties anyone?



[I nabbed this photo off the wild world web, I do not know who it is and I did not take this photo, but bc there are no identifying features and because 78 million Americans are obese, it could be anyone]

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

2 thoughts on “RULE: Sitting is the New Smoking

  1. And I thought if I ran around and exercised all day I could sit down and read for hours at night. Don’t take my last pleasure away.

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