Sitting

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Americans Are Sitting at Record Rates. Here’s Why That’s So Dangerous

The following article was written by Alice Park and was originally published by Time on April 23, 2019. Every day, we modern humans stay comfortably seated on our behinds for hours at a time: binge watching shows on Netflix, pecking away on keyboards at work, scrolling through social media feeds. But do people really sit more than they used to? That’s what Yin Cao and an international group of colleagues wanted to find out in their latest study published in JAMA. While studies on sitting behavior in specific groups of people — such as children or working adults with desk jobs — have recorded how sedentary people are, there is little data on how drastically sitting habits have changed over time. “We don’t know how these patterns have or have not changed in the past 15 years,” says Cao, as assistant professor in public health sciences at the Washington University School of Medicine. The researchers used data collected from 2001 to 2016 by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which asked a representative sample of Americans ages five and older how many hours they spent watching TV or videos daily in the past month, and how many hours they spent…

Sitting for More Than 13 Hours a Day May Sabotage the Benefits of Exercise

The following article, written by Gretchen Reynolds, was originally posted by the New York Times on April 10, 2019. Sitting for most of the day could make us resistant to the usual metabolic benefits of exercise, according to a small but worrying new study. The findings, in the Journal of Applied Physiology, suggest that inactivity may alter our bodies in ways that are not just unhealthy on their own but also blunt the healthfulness of exercise. We know, of course, that physical activity is good for us and being sedentary, for the most part, is not. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and many other chronic conditions. Even a single workout can improve our metabolisms, studies show, so that we burn fat more efficiently after meals and keep our blood sugar and insulin levels steady. Inactivity, meanwhile, has almost the opposite physiological effects. People who spend most of their waking hours sitting face heightened risks for many chronic diseases. They often also experience metabolic problems that raise the risk of diabetes and heart disease, including insulin resistance, poor blood sugar control and high levels of triglycerides, the fatty acids from food that linger in the blood…

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