Can Sitting too much kill you?

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

With the lockdown extending for another 3 weeks, the temptation to sit and watch TV rather than getting active becomes overwhelming. But this could be damaging to your health.

The charity backCare often cites a sedentary lifestyle as one of the reasons for the prevalence of back pain in so many people in the UK.

Researchers have found that the person who sits more is at a higher risk of death than the person who sits less, now this won’t be a surprise to most of us as many of us already know that physical activity is important to good health and most of us aim to do an hour of exercise a day. But that leaves 15 to 16 waking hours a day when we are not being active.

An article in the magazine “Back Care News” states that an American Scientific Magazine has research that reveals that it matters in a big way to your health whether you spend your time sitting as opposed to standing or walking.

To counteract the bad health effects of too much couch potato action take as many mini breaks as possible like standing up and walking around. The greater number of breaks the lower the waist measurement, body mass index as well as other health benefits (according to the American Scientific mag).

People who take breaks more frequently during their time in the office or while watching TV are less likely to be obese and have better metabolic health.

Sedentary behaviour also leads to larger food intake. It is reported that each hour of television watching in children is associated with an increased calorie intake of 167 cals a day.

It seems that excess sitting and TV watching seems to put us in situations where we choose to eat more than we otherwise should.

Our society is built around sitting. We sit at work, we sit at school, we sit at home and we sit in cars as we go back and forth.

Simply walking at a leisurely pace may be enough to undo the metabolic damage associated with prolonged sitting.

So get up and get moving and take the kids with you.

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