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Are You Sitting Too Much?

There’s a very interesting infographic cycling around health sites all over the Internet right now showing the brutally shocking effects prolonged sitting can have on your health.

Did you know that on average we spend more time sitting down than we do sleeping?

With the rise of desk jobs and home theatre systems, we tend to spend 9.3 hours a day with our asses glued to the chair. Somehow I don’t think our bodies were designed for this.

And it’s true – sitting for more than 6+ hours a day makes you 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3 hours.

You might want to stand up for this…

Sitting is Killing You

Source: Medical Billing and Coding

What do you think? Share your comments below.

Kelly-Fitness Overhaul - May 10, 2011

Luckily I have always had active jobs, Carpenter for 12 years and now a home inspector for the last 12 years. I am always on the go, climbing up ladders, on roofs and in attics. I rarely sit still for more than a few minutes. I don’t think I would like sitting at a desk job very much! The most I sit is when I am writing on my blog or commenting on others! I think it is important to stay active and all of these graphics that you have prove that it really is!

-Kelly

    Test - May 11, 2011

    You seem to be more of the exception than the rule, Kelly. If only others had the same activity levels at their jobs this infographic wouldn’t even exist. Too many of us are, unfortunately, planted in front of computers for hours at a time with little understanding of how it affects our health. I hope this infographic can bring much needed awareness to the fact.

Sam- Look Like An Athlete - May 10, 2011

It sucks but having a sedentary lifestyle can be a killer. Unfortunately there is no end in sight to more people having unhealthy lifestyles thanks to leading sedentary lives.
If only we all dedicated at least an hour or maybe even thirty minutes a day to some activity I am sure the populace would improve in their health.

-Sam

    Test - May 11, 2011

    Sedentary lifestyles are unhealthy lifestyles. This infographic does a great job of digging a little bit deeper to examine exactly how a sedentary lifestyle can cause health problems. Thanks for the comment!

The Underwear Body - May 11, 2011

whoa!

I knew it wasn’t great but seeing the stats like that is a real eye opener. Of course I’m saying this from my chair, that I’ve been in for an hour! I think I ought to get up now.

Michael

    Test - May 11, 2011

    Michael, it’s funny because I was thinking the same thing as I was putting the post together. It really makes you think about how long you’ve actually been sitting. Now I try to get up every 30 min. It’s a challenge remembering to do so!

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout - May 11, 2011

Srdjan,

I have a desk job where I’m sitting in front of a computer for a minimum of 8 hours a day. I probably do more physical activity outside of work than most people, but I still can’t help but feel that it’s not enough, at least not to match the natural state humans were meant to exist in. Unfortunately, this is the reality of modern society for many of us and being aware of the damage caused by a sedentary lifestyle should at least give people the desire to not sit around as much.

@Kelly,

Consider yourself lucky, man. I have some friends in professions such as teaching elementary school where they are on their feet all day and they stay lean almost effortlessly without even really having to workout.

Alykhan

    Test - May 12, 2011

    Alykhan, You said it perfectly – awareness is the first step to taking action. Hopefully it is information like this that forces people to take action and move towards a healthier lifestyle.

    You and I are on the same boat. My desk job forces me to sit in front of a computer for the better half of the eight hours that I’m here. But I’ve made it a habit to get away from my desk and off of my ass for at least 10 minutes each hour. It’s the un-interrupted periods of sitting that really cause damage. When I get home, I try to avoid sitting at all costs.

    If I may ask, what is it that you do for a living?

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout - May 19, 2011

Srdjan,

I’m an actuary. The sedentary nature of the job isn’t ideal, but it could be worse as I rarely have to work more than 50 hours a week. I know some people that work 60+. Getting away for 10 minutes per hour sounds like a great idea. I don’t have time to take frequent extended breaks, but I can usually at least get up out of my chair at least once per hour to walk to the restroom, go ask someone a question, or go to a meeting.

Alykhan

    Test - May 20, 2011

    You’re absolutely right – things could always be worse. But 50 hours per week is a long work week and it’s important that you get out of your chair every now and then. It’s the CONTINOUS sitting that really kills us so we always have to interrupt our sitting periods with short and frequent ‘breaks’ (or anything that gets us out of the chair).

    At the end of the day, we really have to find a way to get away from the desk AT LEAST 5-10 minutes every hour.

Nathan - Nathan Strength Fitness - June 2, 2011

Wow.

Serious stuff here. I’ve noticed I just overall feel like crap from sitting a lot. Back pain, lethargy, and lack of circulation… Lately, I’ve been putting more effort in being mobile whenever possible to help combat this. Whether it’s getting up more frequently to get a glass of water, or parking a little farther from the grocery store. I’m starting to think that mobility is of great importance, even for people who go to the gym regularly.

    Test - June 19, 2011

    Nathan, thanks for the comment man. This is definitely some serious stuff. I think things get dangerous when we start to think that we get a hall pass just because we go to the gym. Think about it for a second – even if you go to the gym for an hour 5 times a week, you still work out only 5 hours a week. Compare this to the countless hours spent sitting. It doesn’t balance out.

    Small lifestyle changes (like the ones you mentioned) are key to building good habits against excessive sitting.

Kevin - Fitness B&W - June 2, 2011

So I’m 40% more likely to die in 15 years despite my exercising — that sucks!

    Test - June 19, 2011

    That’s the unfortunate truth, Kevin. But that’s really up to you!!

Samantha - July 12, 2012

I sit on a chair for more than 10 hours a day, and unfortunately I’m already suffering the consequences, having 3 slipped disks and being in pain all day long, every day.. the only thing I have found to help me out, is -other than painkillers- swimming, as it’s helping me keep fit, and strengthens the muscles .. for all those who do not suffer -yet- precaution is better, make sure you take lots of breaks, and make sure you exercise the muscles the chair mostly ruins.

As always, an excellent post Srdjan, keep up with the excellent work 🙂

    Test - July 13, 2012

    Thanks for the tips and the kind words Samantha. Definitely taking breaks and finding ways to ‘re-activate’ those muscles in the core and posterior chain throughout the day is vital.

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