Negative Effects for Long Period Sitting
YOU had better sit down for this. But then again you probably are - and it may not be doing you any good.
Experts have revealed diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity are all linked to long periods of sitting down. And research shows most people spend just one hour of their waking day not seated.
For the first time, Australian researchers will attempt to track just how much lounging around people do and whether simple tasks, like standing up to turn the TV off, can improve health.
Experts predict that time spent between watching the TV, working and travelling can add up to 14 hours a day - with most people only awake for 15 hours.
By altering the way we sit, and exercising at least 30 minutes a day, researchers believe the risk of developing lifestyle diseases can be reduced.
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Queensland University's Cancer Prevention Research Centre spokesman Paul Gardiner yesterday said older people were the worst for lounging around.
"It's not always how long you sit but also the way you sit. Studies have shown by having regular breaks it could alter blood glucose levels which are linked to diabetes," he said.
"We are trying to get people to avoid prolonged sitting."
Children are seated for up to 44 per cent of day, not including sleeping, but it increases to 56 per cent by adulthood. In seniors, 65 per cent of their day is seated.
Mr Gardiner suggests people find ways to stand up while doing everyday activities, such as standing while on the phone.
"If you are watching the TV, put the remote on top and stand up to change channels," he said. "In the office, get up and go for a walk after you are on the telephone. Move bins and printers to a central location so workers have to stand up and walk."
As Australia's workforce moves away from manufacturing and towards IT, telecommunications and banking industries, employees are becoming lazier.
Some studies have shown that adults stand only 12 times per hour.
As an office worker, Dixie-Ann Arnold can spend most of her 9.5 hour working day at the desk.
"Sometimes I will even do desk-a-la-carte: I bring my lunch and eat at my desk because I can't afford to eat out," she said. "We even have coffee delivered." Earlier this year, Ms Arnold, 50, began finding ways to squeeze more exercise into her day by walking up escalators and longer routes to the train station.