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7 Alarming Facts About Sitting

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7 Alarming Facts About Sitting

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.

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Mel, selected from DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

168 comments

+ add your own
10:07AM PDT on Jul 25, 2012

Thanks for this.

3:53AM PDT on Jul 23, 2012

Yes to the conclusion: the chair is not to blame!

4:14PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Thanks.

5:57PM PST on Dec 2, 2011

thanks

6:57PM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

Here in Denmark in all offices there are these stand-up desks that can be "pulled up" and the one can work in a standing position. This might sound funny, but it is actually a great idea, because the one eventually gets tired of sitting through an 8 h working day. The one might be surprised but it can be often seen how these office people actually stand up and work on their computers or do whatever they do there :) After they are "fed up" with standing they can turn it into a sit-down desk again.

8:37AM PDT on Aug 8, 2011

I spend a lot of time sitting into my desk because of my job, I try to do some walk inside the office every 30 minutes.

Thanks for the article, it's really good, but I agree with Susan H., your article is unnecessary long.

9:07AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

This one got shared! Thanks! It's alarming!

6:18AM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

Mel,
Once again, because you insist on dragging out what should be a 2 page article into a multi-page article by inserting unnecessary pictures with each section, I had to sit at my computer longer than I should have had to in order to get through your article. Your articles can be interesting but, more often than not, I am finding them not worth the aggravation of clicking through so many pages. Please consider losing the excess pictures. They add nothing to the point of the article. I mean, really, do you feel that the readers need photos of an obese stomach or a person sitting in a chair to understand these concepts? I grew out of the need for illustrations in my reading when I was four.

11:13AM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

thanks for the much need awareness

5:04PM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

Thanks

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