Sedentary TV time may cut life short
You may remember news from a few years ago warning about sitting for long periods in long overseas flights to prevent DVT. Deep Vein Thrombosis occurs when blood clots form in the lower extremities. The bad news is if these clots make it to the lungs a person could suffer a pulmonary embolism, which can kill.
Turns out IT workers who sit for than 3 to 4 hours at a time also show increased occurrences of DVT.
Those who watch TV for 4 hours a day compared to 2 hours a day had a 46% increase risk of death from all causes and an 80% increase risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of other risk factors like smoking and being overweight. Regular exercise did not seem to offer any protection, although highly active people were not studied.
Researchers indicate that the genes that regulate blood sugar and fat levels begin to shut down after about 4 hours of remaining seated.
Turns out we were born to move. The researchers point out we have recommendations for exercise, but not strong recommendations on how long not to remain inactive while seated.
That’s not totally true.. we do have health and fitness authorities recommending that during a typical office day we find ways to introduce activity such as taking the stairs, sending print jobs to a printer further away from our desk, and simply standing up and moving about every 20 to 45 minutes.
But these recommendations are based on promoting physical activity and preventing muscle tightness and soreness.
The new recommendation is include frequent physical activity to prevent death, a little more difficult to deal with than a sore muscle.
We know that a dose of exercise before work or at lunch increases cognitive function and alertness for a few hours more effectively than drinking coffee does, and reduces long term risk to illness and disease, but it turns out this one hit of exercise during the day might not be enough to protect us from the negative effects of sitting for long periods.
More research is needed to more accurately define the amount of risk that is associated with the amount of time being seated, but the current research suggests that risk increases a lot after 2 hours of sitting and gets worse for each additional hour.
Get off your butts and move!
Check out this article as well