As descendents of hunters and gatherers, humans are designed to move. The rise of the sedentary culture we are living in today, is a relatively recent phenomen, far too recent for our bodies to adapt. The consequences for our health and mental wellbeing are severe, but luckily also highly preventable.
profoundly affected by prolonged sitting, leading to insulin
resistance and diabetes. Long-term increased blood sugar
levels give rise to cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney
failure, nerve damage, blindness and limb amputations.
Over time, breathing becomes chronically impaired, leading to decreased energy and negative effects on the brain, including impaired focus and reduced memory and an increased risk for stroke.
The combination of unhealthy accumulation of body fat and reduced muscle mass leads to higher unhealthy fats circulating in the blood, resulting in an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Sitting for more than seven hours each day means an 85% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. /strong> For every two hours a person spends sitting each day, the risk for cardiovascular disease increases by an additional 5%.
Being overweight increases the risk of a number of serious conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and heart attack, stroke, cancer, kidney disease and liver disease; it can also result in sleep disturbances and cause a range of musculoskeletal problems.
This is likely due to hormonal changes (IGF-1), excessive insulin secretion, a state of constant inflammation and decreased production of antioxidant enzymes.
Obesity has also been linked to cancers involving the esophagusn,stomach, liver, blood, brain, pancreas, colon (intestine), gallbladder, breasts and ovaries.
This has been associated with diseases affecting the bowels, and can also contribute to allergies, asthma, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and cancer.
The brain functions like a muscle. Without enough movement, the brain virtually shrinks in size, increasing the risk of
developing depression, anxiety, dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease), attention deficit disorder and more.
An impaired response to stress can negatively impact numerous other organs, including the heart through the vegetative nervous system and the gut microflora / the microbiome with further implications for our cognitive and psychological wellbeing.
Death By Sitting – Why We Need A Movement Revolution
Sitting for extended periods of time in an office chair day after day has never been part of our genomic imprint. The fact that this has become the status quo is wreaking havoc on our physical health and making us unhappy.
The need for movement has been hardwired within our innate composition. Evolution has shaped humans into the ultimate predator, able to move quickly and efficiently in order to hunt and gather and covering substantial distances over time. It is only in recent history that physical effort and stamina have become pursuits of personal interest or leisure.
Scientific findings over the past decade overwhelmingly echo a powerful message: sitting not only weakens the musculoskeletal system – causing chronic and sometimes debilitating pain – it heavily increases one’s risk for diabetes, overweight, heart disease, stroke and cancer, while affecting our cognitive and mental health, and making us more susceptible to depression and dementia. And, contrary to popular belief, daily exercise is unable to counteract the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
In a comprehensible and accessible format, Death by Sitting explains with scientific accuracy exactly how sitting has become “the new smoking”.