In our evolving culture of increased technological reliance and the growth in “cubicle jobs”, more people are spending more time sitting. This is especially prevalent at college. Many students don’t get enough sleep and sit through difficult and then spend the rest of the day sitting, either relaxing or doing homework. This causes many more problems than meet the eye. These people are putting themselves at risk for various health problems, however there are ways to counteract this trend.
Dr. James Levine, the director of Mayo Clinic’s obesity solutions department has summed up all of his research into two sentences, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” This statement may seem overdramatic to some, however it is completely true. Sitting has been shown to increase the chance of developing heart disease, obesity, and type two diabetes. Sitting also inhibits LPL, a fat digesting enzyme that provides the body with energy. Without LPL working correctly, the body stores away fat instead of burning it for energy.
On the bright side, there are many fairly easy ways to avoid these negative consequences of sitting. The most popular solution is to use a stand up desk. Other great options include getting more exercise and participating in active classes such as Zumba or yoga. Also getting exercise has a domino effect. By exercising, the body becomes more active and it actually wakes up more. So instead of convincing yourself that you are too tired to go workout force yourself to go and you will actually end up more energized. Overall, sitting is honestly one of the most dangerous things threatening our society and precautions need to be taken against the health dangers.
Written by Bruce Bonich, WLLC 2015-2016