How perching on your posterior could kill you
Here's some news you don't want to read sitting down -- because if you spend too much time parked in a seat with little to no physical activity, you're facing big-time health risks.
It doesn't matter if you have a perfect weight.
It doesn't matter if you're healthy by every mainstream measure.
It doesn't even matter if you exercise every day and have regular physical activity -- because if you're spending hours at a time sitting, you're altering your metabolism in ways that could hurt or even kill you.
I've warned you about these risks before, and now two new studies confirm them.
Men, if you sit for five hours a day or more, your risk of heart failure shoots up by more than a third, according to one of the studies. And if you have low overall levels of physical activity, your risk of heart failure skyrockets by 52 percent.
And ladies, if you spend 11 hours or more sitting, your risk of death jumps across the board. The biggest increase is in your risk of death from heart disease, which climbs by 27 percent. But all that sitting can also boost your risk of death from cancer by 21 percent, cardiovascular disease by 13 percent and all causes by 12 percent, according to the second new study.
Don't count on a little exercise to bail you out. Both studies find that if you're spending most of the day sitting, the physical activity won't matter. In fact, your risks are identical to those of someone who sits all day and doesn't get exercise.
This doesn't mean exercise is useless. It means that exercise simply can't undo the damage of hours and hours of sitting -- so along with getting that regular exercise, be sure to get up and get moving throughout the day.
One way to do that is to buy a timer and set it for 20 minutes (you can also use the timer feature on your phone). Every time it goes off, get up and get moving. You don't have to do pushups or jumping jacks, just a walk around the block or even pacing across the room will help break up the sitting.
Yes, if you're at a desk job, getting that regular movement may look a little like you have a nervous habit. But given what's at stake here, maybe everyone should be a little nervous about sitting.