Canadians are no strangers to sitting. Whether it be at an office at work, a desk at home, or the sofa in front in the TV, there’s always a warm welcoming place for you to rest your legs. In fact, the average Canadian spends so much time sitting that some experts have begun calling it an epidemic. Think that sounds a bit extreme?
Although the term may come across as amusing at first, do not be fooled. Prolonged sitting can have drastic adverse effects on your health and longevity. It is one of many factors that contribute to what is known as a sedentary lifestyle. This problem is aggravated by the fact that no matter where we go, sitting just can’t seem to be avoided. We sit for meals, for work, for commuting, and for recreation. Modern society has made being seated the ideal position to live and operate within. The improvement of technology has made it even easier to stay seated. Even a task as simple as walking to the TV to turn it off has been eliminated.
This Can’t be Serious
Everybody sits. Why is this a big deal all of a sudden? Recent decades have seen surges in the number of cases of diabetes and childhood obesity. How do we know this is correlated to sitting? What about other related issues, such as an unhealthy diet or a lack of exercise? Although the kinds of food we eat play an enormous role in our risk of developing diabetes or obesity, it isn’t the only contributor. In this day and age where we have a much better understanding of metabolism and how to eat healthy, diet alone is simply not enough to explain these alarming trends. Even those who regularly hit the gym may not be safe, as at the end of a long day of working out, many people will opt to relax and unwind by reclining in front of the TV or the computer. Either way, sitting is back to haunt us.
What’s the Cure?
Regular exercise is a great idea, but may not be enough! Even if your exercise routine is consistent and meets recommended guidelines, the amount of time you spend sitting may cancel it out entirely. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to alleviate this plague that attacks us all. Been sitting for awhile? Get up! Yes, right now! Stretch out your legs, go grab a drink of water, pace around the room! Interrupting a prolonged period of sitting with this brief task can have wondrous benefits.
The detrimental effects of sitting do not discriminate against age, size, or physical capability. Don’t be caught a sitting duck! If you’ve been surfing the web for a while now, take this as a reminder to get up and stretch your legs!