By Melissa Buscetta, RDN, CDN
Do you ever take note of how much you sit throughout the day? Excessive sitting impacts our body’s metabolic system, potentially leading to health problems.
In the mid-20th century, advances in technology began limiting physical activity, and as technology did more of the heavy lifting, people became increasingly sedentary. Whether it’s time spent working, driving, eating or watching TV, this impacts our sedentary lifestyles, and is often referred to as “sitting disease.”
Sitting disease is a term coined by the scientific community, commonly used when referring to metabolic syndrome and the ill effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Did you know that the average person sits 12 hours a day and 3.2 million deaths each year are related to physical inactivity? The good news is by making simple lifestyle changes we can make big strides to lead healthier lives. Mounting medical research proves that if we choose to stand up, sit less and move more, we can experience a great number of attainable benefits to our health, our minds and our bodies.
People have been helping control their body weight and boost longevity by walking since the beginning of time. We first heard about intentionally walking to lose weight and fight off certain diseases around the 1990’s. Walking daily for health gained attention at this time when the CDC in partnership with the American College of Sports Medicine first recommended “30 minutes of brisk walking for all adults most days of the week.” At the same time, The American Heart Association got on board with the “30 minutes of walking daily” message.
Walking has since been considered the gold standard for physical activity, since it can be done by just about anyone, at any time, for no cost whatsoever. So, if you’re someone who sits at a desk for long hours during the week, try to incorporate more walking into your day, perhaps during your break, or begin making a conscious effort to stand up and sit down more throughout the day.
CDC.gov. More people walk to better health. https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/walking/index.html
Melissa Buscetta is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients. She is very enthusiastic about teaching others how to live a healthier life before and after bariatric surgery.