Dr. Bell's Blog

The Dangers of a Life Spent Sitting

The medical term used to describe a lifestyle involving little or no vigorous physical activity is a sedentary lifestyle. It has become so commonplace that many are now referring to it as the "sitting disease". This dangerous lifestyle starts with those who are young, and can persist throughout their life.  The facts don't lie, it has now become one of the most important factors when it comes to evaluating someone's health.

Have a Look At These Startling Statistics

  • 20% of all deaths for those over the age of 35 are related to a lack of physical activity.
  • Sedentary lifestyles are responsible for an estimated $24 billion in direct medical spending.
  • Only 6.5% of Americans meet the minimum physical guideline requirements for work.
  • 300,000 deaths occur annually due to inactivity and poor dietary habits in the U.S. alone.
  • 50% of American youth, ages 12-21, are not regularly physically active.
  • People who are physically inactive have an increased risk of colon and breast cancer.

It is obvious that living an inactive lifestyle is not in the best interest of your health.  This does not mean that you have to run marathons or compete in triathlons, but what it does mean is you have to take action every day to avoid too much sitting.  

Here are a few things that you can do on a daily basis to increase your activity level.

  • Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
  • Find a walking partner (it can also be your dog) and walk at least 30 minutes per day.
  • Limit the amount of TV time to 1-2 hours per day.
  • Take up a new active hobby.  Give something (low impact) like biking, swimming, or yoga a try.
  • Take the furthest parking spot from the door when going shopping.  You will be surprised how much walking this will add up to by the end of the week.

In closing, remember, living an active lifestyle doesn't mean you have to be an elite athlete.  It merely requires you to be regularly on your feet and moving over the course of the day.  It helps to get in a little heart pounding activity off and on every day as well.  Have fun with it, enlist the help of a friend, and be consistent....your life literally depends on it. Combine this with healthy dietary choices, as well as regular spine and nervous system check-ups, and you will...

LIVE well. BE well.