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If you knew you'd live to 100, how would you change your life today?

Excessive Sitting, Early Death

It’s the type of wisdom that should be embroidered on a pillow: Excessive sitting, early death. Excessive sitting is extremely unhealthy and can lead to unnecessary suffering affecting your quality of life and longevity.

“Sitting is the most underrated health threat of modern times. Researchers found that sitting more than six hours a day will greatly increase your risk of early death.:

Tom Rath, author of Eat Move Sleep

Excessive sitting makes you more vulnerable! Tom Rath made that statement in an article for Forbes titled Is Sitting the New Smoking? on January 13, 2015. That was years before the pandemic, work from home, and Zoom calls becoming a way of life for many. The fact is, Tom was right then, and he’s right now. Sitting too much can be very dangerous and can make you a more vulnerable person. According to The Heart Foundation, in an article also titled, Is Sitting the New Smoking, dated August 10, 2019—still well before the pandemic:

  • Over 25% of American adults sit for more than 8 hours every day. 44% of those people get little to no exercise.
  • The average American watches approximately 3 hours of television every day. 
  • The average American is active less than 20 minutes every day.
  • 60-75 minutes of moderate activity (steady walking) can counter the effects of too much sitting.

According to a study published in The Lancet in 2012, “strong evidence shows that physical inactivity increases the risk of many adverse health conditions, including major non-communicable diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers, and shortens life expectancy. Because much of the world’s population is inactive, this link presents a major public health issue.” 

This study goes on to quantify that inactivity causes 1 in 10 deaths worldwide, putting it on par with the dangers of smoking and obesity. The results suggest that public health officials treat this situation as a pandemic. Again, all of this information is pre-pandemic. Today, for many, walking down the hall to the office of a colleague is but a distant memory.

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Excessive sitting can also lead to degeneration of your spine and nerve system. Many of the 100 Year Lifestyle affiliated chiropractic practices see more younger people than ever with early signs of disc degeneration and abnormal spinal curvatures. Correct measures should be taken early on and preventative measures should be taken by changing your lifestyle.

With your health on the line, there are simple things you can do to keep from sitting too long, or counteract the effects if you do:

  • There’s the 50/10 rule. That means that you set the alarm on your phone, and every 50 minutes, you get up and stretch for 10 minutes at least.
  • When you get on the phone – stand up. Better yet, stand up and walk around. 
  • Get a desk height adjustable desk. This will allow you to continue working while alternating throughout the day between standing and sitting.
  • Ask a professional or do a YouTube search to learn (and use) stretching exercises that will counteract the stress on your body from long periods of sitting.
  • Watch your posture. 
  • See your chiropractor regularly for adjustments.

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