What are you doing right now? Yep, you’re sitting. Me, too. What does sitting do? Well, it kills you, apparently. Experts estimate that we sit for 15.5 hours per day. Office workers may spend up to 75% of their day sitting...and dying. We’ve already learned recently that sitting increases death rates in recent studies: Results of an American Cancer Society study on 123,000 subjects from 1992-2006: - Men: 6 hrs/day sitting = death rate 20% higher than men who sat for 3 hours or less. - Women: 6 hrs/day sitting = 40% higher death rate than women who sat for 3 hours or less. Sitting at Your Desk = Cancer | Unofficial Networks

Sitting at Your Desk = Cancer

Sitting at Your Desk = Cancer

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Sitting at Your Desk = Cancer

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Feeling the pain

What are you doing right now?  Yep, you’re sitting.  Me, too.  What does sitting do?  Well, it kills you, apparently.  A new study by Alberta Health Services shows strong ties between inactivity and cancer.  Experts estimate that we sit for 15.5 hours per day.  Office workers may spend up to 75% of their day sitting…and dying…

We’ve already learned recently that sitting increases death rates in recent studies:

Results of an American Cancer Society study on 123,000 subjects from 1992-2006:

– Men: 6 hrs/day sitting = death rate 20% higher than men who sat for 3 hours or less.

– Women:  6 hrs/day sitting = 40% higher death rate than women who sat for 3 hours or less.

This poster was made before they even found out about the cancer stuff

Now, researchers aren’t just talking death rates.  They are talking specifics and the details can be summed up in one ugly word:  CANCER.  (not scared, yet?  type ‘cancer’ into google images…you’ll be scared)

What’s really scary is even if you sit all day then exercise a bunch in the evening, you are still killing yourself. Exercise isn’t enough.

The latest information is coming from research published in the October issue of the Cancer Prevention Research Journal done by Christine Friedenreich, PhD, of Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada.  Her research shows direct links between inactivity and cancer formation and was presented at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AIRC) annual conference yesterday.  (learn more about Christine’s paper)

AIRC Conference Findings:

– 92,000 cases per year of breast and colon cancer resulting from inactivity in the USA

– This study based on 200 worldwide studies

 “As many as 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 cases of colon cancer occurring in the U.S. every year are linked to a lack of physical activity, according to estimates presented today at the American Institute for Cancer Research annual conference.” -American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)

This information is excessively daunting.  Most of us sit while we work and it’s killing us.  We need a solution:

AIRC “You Are Going to Die” Chart

AICR Tips on How To Survive The Sitting Epidemic:

– For every hour of sitting take at least 1-2 minutes to be active

– Exercise at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week (1 hour/day 7 days/week is better)

– Take as many “brisk” walks as you can fit in a day (walk to co-workers desk instead of email, walk to get water, walk to get lunch, just walk dammit)

– More Practical Tips from AICR:

  • Set the timer on your computer to remind you every 60 minutes that it’s time to step away from your desk and take a short walk down the hall.
  • “Walk with me.” Got a quick thing to discuss with a co-worker? Instead of sending an email, ask him or her to join you for a walk to hash it out on the go. The pedeconference: It’s not just for TV characters anymore.
  • Keep light hand weights in your office to use while reading email or talking on the phone.
  • During all phone calls and phone meetings, stand up and walk around.
  • Your office or cubicle wall is all you need for simple activities like stretches, vertical push-ups and leg lifts.
  • For a more vigorous activity break, ask your employer to put a punching bag or chin-up bar in your break room.
“In breast and colon cancers, for example, we’re seeing overall risk reductions of about 25 to 30 percent associated with higher levels of physical activity. With prostate cancer the evidence isn’t as strong but it’s still there – about 10 to 20 percent lower risk. For endometrial cancer, we are finding about 30 to 35 percent risk reduction with more physical activity.” – Christine Friedenreich, PhD, of Alberta Health Services-Cancer Care in Canada
Considering the latest information relay at AIRC conference, the consequences of excessive sitting are no longer nebulous.  
Sitting is killing us.  Sitting = higher death rates.  Sitting = cancer.  It’s time for us to make the changes need to avoid these results.  The time to change is now.

How much sitting is considered too much sitting?

“Any sitting is actually too much.  Frankly, we should do the broadcast standing up right now, just walking in place. One hour of sitting consistently without standing up in between is too much and may raise your risk of cancer.” -Dr. Holly Phillips, general internist

“Most of us sit seven-to-nine hours a day, which is just too much. Ideally, we should work out 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you can’t, you can do little things to decrease your cancer risk. If you take a bus, try to get off one stop early. Park your car at the back of the parking lot. Little things like this can make a huge, huge difference.”  -Dr. Holly Phillips, general internist

I have to admit right now that I lied to you all in the beginning of this article.  I was not sitting.  This has me so freaked out that I wrote this entire thing standing up.  Seriously.

 

“Today only 31 percent of U.S. adults say they engage in any kind of regular, leisure-time physical activity. And as physical activity wanes, obesity rises – and impacts the economic and national security of our nation.”  – Lawrence A. Soler, President and CEO, Partnership for a Healthier America

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