By Vicki Santillano, DivineCaroline
Though I make it a point to exercise regularly and remain active throughout the week, the majority of my weekdays are spent sitting in a desk chair. Unless I’m walking to the bathroom or watercooler, the only body parts that I consistently move from nine to five are my fingers against the keyboard. This didn’t bother me as much a few weeks ago, when I thought that morning gym sessions and walking on lunch breaks balanced the sedentary nature of my job. But then I came across a recent study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology linking excessive sitting time with increased risk of dying. The study also concluded that whether you exercise or not makes little difference. Uh-oh.
According to results, men and women who sat longer than six hours were more likely to die at the time of the study than those who sat for fewer than three hours. Six hours sounds like a long time to stay put, but considering a large portion of Americans have desk jobs and spend their off-time being couch potatoes, maybe that’s not so surprising. It made me wonder about our culture’s sedentary nature and how it affects us. After digging around, I came across some alarming facts.
1. We spend 8.5 hours a day in front of screens.
That’s what Ball State University researchers found out in 2009 when they recorded how much visual media people are exposed to on a daily basis, and through what mediums. Their results showed that across most age groups, consumers spend almost nine hours a day in front of the TV and computer, using mobile devices like the iPhone, and watching movies. Another survey done that same year had similar results: The Nielsen Company’s Three Screen Report found that Americans watch about 153 hours of TV every month per person — and that doesn’t include anything watched online or via smartphones.