sitting bad for health

Health Warning: Sitting Kills

Thanks to commuting, working and watching television, we end up sitting a lot. On average it’s around 9.3 hours a day, which is more than we’re sleeping (7.7 hours).

Many studies (1 , 2) have pointed towards the harmful health effects of sitting. Here are the findings from a few of them:

  • Sitting over 6 hours a day, increases the chances of you dying within the next 15 years by 40%, as compared to someone who sits less than 3 hours.
  • People who reported sitting for more hours of the day had a 24% greater risk of developing colon cancer, a 32% higher risk of endometrial cancer and a 21% higher risk of lung cancer.
  • Sitting makes us fat. After 1 hour of sitting, the production of enzymes that burn fat declines by as much as 90%.
  • Sitting for too long was linked to a 91 percent increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.
  • Sitting is directly tied to 6% of the impact for heart diseases, 7% for type 2 diabetes, and 10% for breast cancer, or colon cancer.
  • It takes just one hour of sitting to decrease the blood flow from your legs to your heart by 50%.

Also, exercising regularly does not curb all of these harmful effects. In fact, sitting reduces the benefits of regular exercise.

No wonder sitting is being called the new smoking!

Luckily, many of these health hazards can be mitigated by taking hourly breaks to walk around and stretch for a few minutes. And as Nilofer Merchant suggests in this video, you can also consider having walking meetings.


Published by

Amit Puri

Amit is an experienced career, business and HR professional. Previously, he has worked with organisations such as Bain & Company, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup. Amit has advanced degrees/qualifications in Career Counselling, Organisational Psychology & HR, Occupational Psychometrics, Career/Life Coaching & Business.

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