How much time do you spend sitting? If you work in an office, chances are it’s an average of around 11 hours a day and that most of your time spent sitting happens at work.
By now, you’ve probably heard that spending too much time sitting isn’t great for your health. Too much sedentary time may increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and overall mortality. Making an effort to move more throughout the day may lower your cancer risk and improve your overall health.
In order to help their employees sit less, some employers have installed special desks that can be raised or lowered so that workers have the option to sit or stand. But in order for sit-stand desks to work, employees must use them.
It’s “Back to school” time and that brings challenges in keeping kids active and healthy in the 21st century. In decades past, school provided much more than academic education; it also provided an environment conducive to the development of social and life skills. Lessons learned on the playground included important social skills such as cooperation, teamwork, conflict resolution, and peer communication. Physical education class provided an outlet to release energy, and establish the important lifestyle habit of physical activity on a daily basis.
With recess and physical activity time being cut to make more time for classroom learning, the struggle to keep kids healthy and active is harder than ever before. The sad truth is kids are expected to spend the majority of their day “sitting”, contributing to skyrocketing childhood obesity rates and overall health concerns — including increased cancer risk — for our next generation.
That said, the challenges don’t end when the bell rings. Kids today have succumbed to the “technology takeover”, spending more time living in the “virtual” world than in the real one. While kids in previous generations would play outside afterschool until dinner time, kids today run home to video games, television shows, text messages, and social media, increasing the amount of time they are sedentary.
Today, a new study found that replacing even a small amount of that sedentary time with some physical activity could reduce early death for people of all weights and waist sizes. A growing body of research is linking sedentary behavior to cancer risk.
The new analysis, published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, used data from over 334,000 people in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer Nutrition (EPIC) study to determine if overweight, obesity or large waist size would affect whether reducing sedentary behavior improves survival.