By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
We are a sitting society. Too much sitting, without regular physical activity, leads to frailty and poor health, and is a significant risk factor for heart disease, and what University of Missouri physiologist Frank Booth calls the “sedentary death syndrome” − a long list of medical misery that includes diabetes, hypertension, obesity, arthritic pain, osteoporosis, sleep apnea, depression, and respiratory disorders. Even just a little physical activity can reduce your risk!
You must insert some physical activity into your daily routine. You are never too old to start exercise.
Click here to find my recommendations on exercise.
You’ll be surprised to know how little you need in order to get benefits. But you need to do something, and on a regular basis.
Conversely, overdosing on the couch is hazardous to health. A 2011 Harvard study reveals that every two hours spent watching TV daily increases the risk of diabetes by 20 percent and cardiovascular disease by 15 percent. Again, in 2013, another Harvard study showed that prolonged sitting was associated with an increased cardiovascular risk, independent of leisure-time activity, in postmenopausal women.
A healthy lifestyle, which includes regular and moderate physical activity, can help prevent or delay degenerative disease.
- Charansonney O. [Physical activity’s and aging’s opposite effects on cardiorespiratory physiology]. Ann Cardiol Angeiol (Paris). 2012 Nov;61(5):365-9. [Abstract.]
- Lees SJ, Booth FW. Sedentary death syndrome. Can J Appl Physiol, 2004;29(4):447-60. [Abstract.]
- Mitchell T, Church T, Zucker M. Move Yourself. Wiley, New York, 2008.
- Grøntved A, Hu FB. Television viewing and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality. A meta-analysis. JAMA,2011;305(23):2448-55.
- Chomistek AK, Manson JE, et al. The relationship of sedentary behavior and physical activity to incident cardiovascular disease: Results from the Women’s Health Intitiative. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2013; published online first at http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleID=1679535&utm_source=Silverchair%20Information%20Systems&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=JACCOBP#tab1
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