IS YOUR OFFICE CHAIR KILLING YOU?
Regardless of how often or how hard you work out, there’s still a good chance that you’re sitting your life away.
By Maria Masters, October 27, 2010
Do you lead an active lifestyle or a sedentary one? The question is simple, but the answer may not be as obvious as you think. Let’s say, for example, you’re a busy guy who works 60 hours a week at a desk job but who still manages to find time for five 45-minute bouts of exercise. Most experts would label you as active. But Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., has another name for you: couch potato.
- “New evidence suggests, in fact, that the more hours a day you sit, the greater your likelihood of dying an earlier death regardless of how much you exercise or how lean you are.”
- “That’s right: Even a sculpted six-pack can’t protect you from your chair. But it’s not just your heart that’s at risk from too much sitting; your hips, spine, and shoulders could also suffer. In fact, it’s not a leap to say that a chair-potato lifestyle can ruin you from head to toe.”
- “We’ve done a lot to keep people alive longer, but that doesn’t mean we’re healthier,”
- “A person may hit the gym every day, but if he’s sitting a good deal of the rest of the time, he’s probably not leading an overall active life,”
- “The evidence that sitting is associated with heart disease is very strong,”
- “The cure for too much sitting isn’t more exercise. Exercise is good, of course, but the average person could never do enough to counteract the effect of hours and hours of chair time. ”
- “We know there’s a gene in the body that causes heart disease, but it doesn’t respond to exercise no matter how often or how hard you work out,” he says. “And yet the activity of the gene becomes worse from sitting—or rather, the complete and utter lack of contractile activity in your muscles.”
- “Your body adapts to what you do most often,”
- “So if you sit in a chair all day, you’ll essentially become better adapted to sitting in a chair. The trouble is, that makes you less adept at standing, walking, running, and jumping, all of which a truly healthy human should be able to do with proficiency.”
- “So if you sit in a chair all day, you’ll essentially become better adapted to sitting in a chair.” The trouble is, that makes you less adept at standing, walking, running, and jumping, all of which a truly healthy human should be able to do with proficiency.
- “While fascia is pliable, it tends to “set” in the position your muscles are in most often. So if you sit most of the time, your fascia adapts to that specific position.”
- “If you spend a lot of time with your shoulders and upper back slumped over a keyboard, this eventually becomes your normal posture.”
- “Your glutes are a powerful furnace for fat—a furnace that’s probably been switched off if you spend most of the day on your duff.”
So what’s a desk jockey to do? Hamilton’s advice: Think in terms of two spectrums of activity. One represents the activities you do that are considered regular exercise. But another denotes the amount of time you spend sitting versus the time you spend on your feet. “Then every day, make the small choices that will help move you in the right direction on that sitting-versus-standing spectrum,” says Hamilton. “Stand while you’re talking on the phone. It all adds up, and it all matters.” Of course, there’s a problem with all of this: It kills all our lame excuses for not exercising (no time for the gym, fungus on the shower-room floor, a rerun of The Office you haven’t seen). Now we have to redefine “workout” to include every waking moment of our days. But there’s a big payoff: more of those days to enjoy in the future. So get up off your chair and start non-exercising.
“Every day, make the small choices that will help move you in the right direction on that sitting-versus-standing spectrum,”
Full article at: http://www.menshealth.com/health/staying-active