You have to get up and move – that’s what they say to people who are looking for answers on increasing longevity. Leading a healthy lifestyle does require you to be more physically active, but you also have to eat better foods and disengage from harmful activities, like excessive drinking and smoking. The issue with Americans today is that most work at jobs that require them to sit for eight hours a day. This and the high consumption of processed foods have lead to an obesity epidemic. Those that come to naturopathic doctors of medicine are given advice about how to change their lifestyles, which aid in weight loss and overall longevity.
Most of the day, Americans are sitting on their rear ends – at work, driving home from work and then at home. This is the first time in history that majority of the population is consistently sitting for 15+ waking hours per day.
Sitting Can Lead to an Earlier Demise
Who’d a thunk that sitting down could be so dangerous? According to studies published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, sitting for over three hours daily causes 3.8 percent of all-cause deaths throughout 54 different countries that were surveyed.
By cutting down how much you sit to less than three hours daily can greatly affect your longevity. This could potentially lengthen your time here on earth by 0.2 years. It’s estimated that there are over 60 percent of people around the world who sit more than three hours daily.
Get Moving to Live Longer
If you’re one of the many who is sitting over 10 hours per day, then you should try to find ways to increase the time you spend standing up. It may sound like it’s hard to do, but it really isn’t. According to research, reducing your sitting time in half can decline all-cause mortality by 2.3 percent. This was based on the mean sitting time, which was 4.7 hours daily.
Observations were also made that show that even a slight reduction in sitting time, such as 10 percent or 30 minute decrease, can instantly impact the all-cause mortality rate in the 54 surveyed countries. However, if people were to make bolder changes, such as implementing a 50 percent decrease or sitting two hours or less daily, would present three times fewer deaths compared to only reducing sitting time by 10 percent.
Moving and standing more isn’t an impossible task. You can work with an integrative medicine doctor to help improve your lifestyle.
Countries Should Take After Australia
Over in Australia, sedentary behavior guidelines and physical activity guidelines have been adopted. This requires employers to allow employees to move about in the office and to promote movement and standing in their workplaces. In Colombia, government computers automatically pause to force employees to take regular breaks.
Working out 30 minutes per day, then sitting over three hours the rest of the day is similar to taking multivitamins and then eating a Big Mac and large pizza the rest of the day. These short-term workouts aren’t enough to counter the inactivity that people witness throughout the day. Then count the fact that most people don’t even work out for 30 minutes daily.
According to the World Health Organization, or WHO, sedentary lifestyles are the fourth leading cause of premature death around the world. Plus, sitting for long periods of time also increases your chances of developing various chronic illnesses. A naturopathic medicine doctor can review your current lifestyle and make much-needed recommendations.
In a meta-analysis of 42 different studies covering adult sedentary behavior, it was found that being sedentary over a long period of time, such as sitting for eight hours or more daily, was linked to a number of health risks (even if they work out). These health risks include:
- Cancer incidence
- All-cause mortality
- Cancer mortality
- Type 2 diabetes incidence
- Cardiovascular disease mortality
It’s believed that deleterious biological consequences are connected to your muscles being subjected to uninterrupted periods of unloading that stems from being sedentary for long periods of time.