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Sunday, July 13, 2014

How sitting less affects healthcare costs

New research has allowed scientists to further confirm the belief sitting less increases longevity. Numerous studies on the deleterious effects of sitting have arrived at related hypotheses in the past. However, since so many variables influence individual medical health, proving not sitting is beneficial to health is just as important as demonstrating how sitting is a health hazard. This research also helps account for statistical and medical gaps in previous findings. Many claim “sitting is the new smoking," which makes not sitting the new anti-smoking campaign.


Researchers using statistical analysis state the average lifespan of Americans would increase two years to 80.5, if people sat for less than three hours a day per USA Today. Furthermore, according to Ergotron, a producer of ergonomic sitting devices, the American Cancer Society, British Journal of Sports Medicine and The University of Queensland in Australia have all arrived at similar findings. Moreover, because sitting less changes bodily functions such as metabolism, heart rate and muscle contractions, not sitting is thought to have a positive health affect.


In the course of conducting research on the health affects of sitting too long and not sitting, scientists have discovered cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and even cancer are linked to sitting too long per a Mayo Clinic report. To illustrate , in a University of New Mexico article, Doctor Len Kravitz cites supporting research on animals. Specifically, fat catching enzymes in the legs or rats are reduced when sitting for long periods of time. Since these enzymes are beneficial in reducing heart disease, sitting was therefore a contributing factor.


Sitting on exercise balls, desk stretches, standing and excising more are suggested by health professionals as a way to reduce the risks of “sitting disease.” According to Public Radio International, the Department of Health and Human Services claims 30 minutes of daily exercise reduces risk of heart disease between 70 and 75 percent. Other ways to counteract sitting disease is by sitting on pro-health alternatives such as  focal chairs according to Business Insider; exercise balls are used for this purpose.


Among the advantages of sitting less are a higher probability of living longer and a lowered chance of obesity. According to  Doctor Jason Powers via the University of Iowa, this is because not sitting improves metabolism and therefore increases the amount of calories burned. Periodic changes in heart rate are also beneficial per a WebMD report by Jean Lawrence. Moreover, interrupting lengthy sitting sessions with quick spurts of activity is claimed to demonstrably reduce heart-health risks.

Image attribution: Pilatesball; "Work-man sitting"; CC BY-S.A. 3.0,