Don’t Take this News Sitting Down

Posted by on Nov 25, 2013

Don’t Take this News Sitting Down

More and more evidence shows that sitting too much has health risks. Recent studies have shown that the longer you sit in a typical day, the higher your risk of chronic disease and the shorter your lifespan. Even people who exercise an hour a day but then sit the rest of their day have an increased risk compared to those who stay more active throughout their day. That’s why I noted with interest the latest study to come out on this topic. The results were announced in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research and were presented at their annual meeting last month.

Sitting a cause of pre-cancerous colon polyps

Basically, researchers found that sedentary men are at increased risk for colon polyps. While these benign tumors can be removed during colonoscopy, if they are not detected and removed early enough they can turn into colon caner. After studying 1,700 men and women, the scientists found that men who spent 11 or more hours sitting had a 45 percent increased risk of colon polyps compared to those who sat for fewer than seven hours a day. Those four extra hours of lack of movement made a big difference. Even men who regularly got exercise sometime during their day still had an increased risk if they spent the rest of their day mainly in a sitting position. This particular study did not show any harm from seated endeavors to the female participants.

Whole health take-away

Accumulating evidence shows it’s best for all of us to stay active throughout the day to avoid chronic disease and other health problems. We need to reduce prolonged sitting time by taking mini movement breaks throughout our day. Stand for awhile, take a walk, climb the stairs, do some chores, or find reasons to move around the office or room instead of sitting. In general, the more active you are the healthier you will be.

As for me, I am in the process of setting up a treadmill desk so I can walk at a slow to moderate pace while using my computer. I will keep you posted on how this arrangement goes for me in future posts.

This post is written by Elizabeth S. Smoots, MD. Dr. Smoots’ blog is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Before adhering to any recommendations in this blog consult your healthcare provider. ©2012 Elizabeth S. Smoots, MD, LLC.
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