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Sitting Is The New Smoking

According To Experts

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New research claims that 70,000 deaths a year in the UK are caused by our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. That’s more than lung cancer. The research also claims that it can also affect hormones, metabolism and cause inflammation.

Not only with most types of work, such as office-based jobs, but also our social time sees us spending long amounts of time seated whether it’s watching tv on the sofa or seated at the table surfing the internet on a laptop. Add in travel that involves being seated on public transport or driving a car and you’ll see a continuous pattern of how our bodies spending the majority of the day in a seated position.

With many people working sedentary jobs and spending long periods of time in a seated position, some of the major issues resulting from that are typically things such as bad posture and body alignment. Spending long periods of time seated, especially if not sitting correctly, can cause spinal and muscular issues. If working in a sedentary role where being seated for long periods this should be broken up into smaller periods with regular standing and walking. On top of that, regular exercise that involves stretching both before and after exercise should help minimise the impact.

Being seated for long periods of time is a habit that’s not just bad news for your back, it increases the risk of serious disease and in some cases even premature death. The study, conducted by researchers from Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, suggests long periods spent sitting contributed to 70,000 deaths in 2016 in the UK, and has put a figure on its cost to the NHS; £700 million a year.

The researchers concluded that measures should be taken to reduce sedentary behaviour with the aim of improving population health and reducing the financial burden on the health service. Sitting seems to have an independent impact, affecting the way our hormones behave, how our metabolism works and our brain functions and may even cause inflammation in the body.

There are also a high number of health conditions that are associated with prolonged periods of sitting such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer such as lung cancer and premature death from all causes. It can also affect the brain, with studies showing that it can negatively impact mood, cognition, memory and raise the risk of dementia.

Without fear mongering and causing large numbers of people to quit their office-based work and start working in active roles, the most effective solutions all seem to simply involve keeping yourself active. This involves getting up from a seated position regularly and exercising often with daily periods of walking and standing that involve lots of movement.

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