Move More to Build a Better Body
Oversitting Hurts Health Over Time
by Dan Hysong
All the sitting and inactivity of driving, binge-watching TV series, working desk jobs with virtual meetings and using drive-thru services can contribute to poor health. It is on par with poor nutrition, smoking, vaping, overconsumption of alcohol and obesity in negative health effects. Sitting too much contributes to tight hip flexor muscles that can affect gait and cause low back pain. When they are not supporting body weight, the legs become weaker over time. With that, balance worsens, and a serious fall becomes likely.
A scientific study was done by Dr. James Levine, M.D., who is an expert on obesity, concluding that too much sitting lowers the body’s NEAT level. NEAT stands for “non-exercise activity thermogenesis.” He introduced this concept back in 2002, saying NEAT is an important component of daily energy expenditure. It could be the difference between weight loss or not by maintaining a negative energy (calorie) balance. Levine showed that low NEAT is linked to weight gain, diabetes, heart attacks and cancer.
The good news is that just a slight adjustment and change in one’s daily routine to get out of the chair can make a big difference. Fidget, move from place to place, on a work break go for a walk, clean the house with elbow grease, take the stairs rather than the elevator and park in the back of the lot. If that adjustment is not happening, then at home, consider a treadmill desk that Levine invented. Office workers can use a standing desk converter. Smartwatches vibrate to remind people to stand up.
Don’t become a “chair-aholic.” Remember the old saying “Everything in moderation” and that includes sitting.
Dan Hysong is a certified personal trainer at Busy Working Out, LLC, located at 1516 Penistone St., Birmingham. For more information, visit BusyWorkingOut.com or call 248-229-1620.
Check out his listing in our Online Natural Directory.