Well, yet another health study says that Americans especially sit too much. According to a just released study, man’s original “hunter-gathererer” DNA cannot accommodate the amount of time that most of us now spend just sitting down. In fact the study said that if you get up and engage in vigorous exercise for 30 to 45 minutes in the morning that sitting down for long periods can cancel all the good benefits of exercising.
So what is the new advice? Getting up every 20 minutes to walk around is strongly suggested. I remember some years ago that someone invented an ergonomic type chair where you actually straddled the thing. There was no need to sit. Then there were people who preferred to work at deskstations where they could stand as much as possible. Too much sitting might explain why kids are so unruly starting in elementary school. “Do you have ants in your pants?” is the question teachers once asked kids who just couldn’t sit still. Well, maybe the kids were trying to tell us something—that sitting in a chair for long periods of time is just not natural—and can be detremental to your health.
So, during an average 10 hours day, how much do you sit? Starting from the time you get up, what is your daily routine that involves sitting? Eating breakfast—do you sit or eat on the run—or do you drive through a fast food window, order your breakfast, sit down and eat it while your drive? Do you then go to a job that requires you to sit down for long periods of time? How long do you sit between the time you arrive at work and lunch? And at lunch what do you do—walk around, sit and eat at your desk, go to a drive-thru and again order and eat your lunch sitting down—or do you meet friends and sit at a restaurant table? What happens when you return to work? Back to your desk to sit some more—until time to go home? Do you then get in your car, sit down some more—often caught in traffic for hours—still sitting? What about after you return home? Do you walk around, do chores, yardwork, or do you head straight for the sofa to sit down to rest from your long day—of sitting?
What about other activities. Going to church? Get in your car—sit down while you drive, walk into church, plop down on a pew and sit through long church services—then get back in your car and head to restaurant to eat—again sitting down—then go home to sit down to rest after church—then maybe go to afternoon services—again sitting down some more. What about other activities—going to movies—again– long periods of just sitting. Get the picture? Get the much bigger picture of just how much Americans sit—which might explain why Americans are packing on the pounds.
I remember my grandmother’s daily routine which hardly involved sitting. She was busy from sun up to sun down—cooking, washing, cleaning, working in her garden, working on a farm, walking about to and fro to get anywhere. My grandmother sat down to comb her hair and that’s about it. Her life was a complete 180 from all the sitting now being done by her grandchildren—who sit down for everything. This generation sits and sits and sits—on the computer—sitting; eating—sitting; at school—sitting; going to and from school—a lot of sitting in cars or on buses. Kids now adays almost hate to move around—just give them a remote or some electronic gadget and let them sit and engage themselves.
The new study recommends that Americans get off their butts!! Get up and move around—walk, do yard work, work in your garden, go outside and pick up trash around your yard or neighborhood—do something other than sit, sit, sit.
Copyright 2013 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.