Recent studies have shown that we lose 2 hours of life for every hour we sit.
I’d thought I would address this topic for American Heart Month, along with American Recall Center who teamed up bloggers to call out this important topic.
James Levine, MD, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk, states:
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
We sit 90% more than our ancestors. Is it the increase in computer time, TV time or just our way of life?
A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology surveyed healthy 53,440 men and 69,776 women over a 14-year period. Researchers found that those who sat 6 hours a day died earlier than those who sat 3 hours per day. Those who sat the longest had the strongest mortality, especially with respect to cardiovascular disease.
The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a recent review of 43 studies analyzing cancer risk and daily activity. Those who reported increased hours of sitting had 24% greater risk of developing colon cancer, 21% higher risk of lung cancer and 32% higher risk of endometrial cancer regardless of activity or exercise level.
What is the etiology behind mortality and sitting time?
For starters, sitting increases insulin resistance, which increases the risk of both cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, not to mention medical issues related to inflammation.
What’s the good news for those who want to turn this statistic around?
It’s called Glut4. And WHAT is Glut4?
Glut4 is an insulin-regulated glucose transporter found in heart tissue, skeletal muscle and adipose or fat tissue.
It is a compound that helps the transport of glucose into the cells and is enhanced by exercise. Glut 4 decreases the need for insulin by opening the door for glucose from the inside out.
Exercise and activity are the most potent stimulus of activating Glut4.
So if you exercise on a daily basis AND move around as much as possible, preferably every 20-30 minutes you are activating Glut4 and beating the statistics.
It may not save you from heart disease, diabetes or cancer but it will substantially lower your chances of becoming one of the statistics.