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The dangers of sitting have been all over the news lately, headlines such as “Sitting is killing you!” or “Sitting is the new smoking!” Are the dangers of sitting as bad as the headlines make them out to be, or is this just overblown hype?

The short answer….SITTING TOO LONG IS BAD FOR YOU! Studies have come out telling us that there are dangers of sitting too long.

We all know that people who sit more, live more sedentary lives and that is directly correlated to greater rates of obesity which leads to many ailments. That much we always knew, but lately it has been more damning!

We are seeing that people who sit more, even when physical activity is controlled (which means two people workout the same amount but one sits for longer periods), have much higher rates of cardiovascular disease (think heart attacks) and type II diabetes. Similarly, cancer rates are also elevated, including colon cancer (24% greater risk), endometrial cancer (32% greater risk) and even lung cancer (21% greater risk)!

So why is this happening?

There are many theories, some theories say that sitting makes the body think it is falling asleep and this leads to turning off of certain pathways in the body, while other theories say that sitting causes improper posture which puts a lot of stress on the spine and also on the organs which can cause long term damage. Hopefully more research in the future will tell us exactly how sitting is affecting us.

What can we do?

Easier said than done, but stop sitting!!

Studies show that sitting for less time and increasing physical activity is better for you; however, it is much more beneficial to take periodic breaks while sitting for long periods of time, (2 minutes of standing/walking every 20 minutes of sitting) rather than a big workout session after work (8 hours of sitting followed by 30 minutes of standing/walking).

Most of our sitting happens either at work (looking at all the office workers stuck behind computers) or consuming media at home (watching TV, on tablets or cell phones, etc.). We have to ask ourselves if we can do some of these while standing, everyone should be answering yes! Simple things like standing while talking on the phone or standing up and walking during commercials when watching TV shows.

So the phrases “sitting is killing you” and “sitting is the new smoking” are not so outlandish, people who sit over 6 hours a day lose on average 4.8 years from their lives.

To summarize:

Sitting for too long is being associated with heart disease, diabetes and cancer, so make sure to get up and walk every 20 minutes!

If you have any questions or want to know how to live an overall healthier life, make sure to give us a call at 905-389-6336 or email us at

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