sitting

  1. Sitting can hurt you

    Don't take aging sitting down. The more time you spend in a seat, the more likely you are to not have a choice about it -- because too much sitting is a major risk factor for mobility problems and even disability.

    In other words, move it... or lose it.

    Every hour you spend seated per day past the age of 60 will increase your risk of disability by 46 percent, according to one new study.

    That's a huge price to pay for a little extra "Wheel of Fortune," if you ask me. (And given the risks, maybe they should rename it "Wheelchair of Misfortune" instead.)

    Now, don't think you can get up, run on the treadmill for half an hour and then return to your easy chair, because it's not the amount of exercise that matters most.

    It's the amount of time you spend sitting, and if you spend too many hours on your butt than even daily exercise sessions won't reduce your disability risk, according to the study.

    All that really matters is how much time you spend up on your feet and moving around.

    And if that's not enough of a reason to get up out of your seat, too much sitting can also increase your risk of dementia, diabetes, heart disease and even death.

    If this is hitting a little too close to home -- if your own easy chair has a permanent indentation in the shape of your rear end -- don't feel too bad.

    You're hardly alone.

    The study finds that the average over-60 spends 9 hours a day either sitting or not moving.

    It's time to break out of this cycle. Get up and get moving throughout the day -- go for walks, spend some time out in the garden and take up and active hobby such as tennis or golf.

    One easy way to track your movements and make sure you get what you need is to wear a pedometer, which will track your daily footsteps. Pick one up, put it on and see how much you move now.

    Then, get to work on increasing that activity. Set some goals -- a good one is to increase your movement in increments of 2,000 steps per day. One recent study finds boosting your own daily steps by this level will help slash your risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Read more about it in this free report from my House Calls archives.

  2. No such thing as sitting pretty

    Never before in human history has it been so easy to get through each day with so little movement -- and it's literally killing us.

    Before I tell you about the latest research on this, think about your own day for a minute and how much time you spend sitting.

    Many people spend between six and eight hours a day on their rears at work, not to mention an hour or more during their commute and a couple of hours a night in front of the TV.

    I know folks who turn the TV on during primetime and don't get up again until Leno says goodnight -- except maybe to get a snack.

    It adds up fast... and if that sounds a little too much like your typical day, find a way to work more movement into it -- because a new study out of Australia finds that eight hours of daily sitting will increase your risk of death in the next three years by 15 percent.

    More sitting adds up to even more risk, with 11 sedentary hours a day causing the death risk to shoot up by 40 percent, according to the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    When you hear about something like this, the temptation is to pull the laundry off the treadmill and start using it again.

    But that's not the answer. People who sit all day and exercise at the beginning or end of it tend to have many of the same health risks as those who sit and don't exercise -- and in the new study, they had the same exact death risk.

    That means you have to get up, get moving, and take a walk every couple of hours if you can.

    If you have a "smart" phone, there are even some apps out there that will remind you to stand and move if you've been sitting too long. Some will also count your daily steps to make sure you're spending enough time on your feet.

    Kind of ironic, isn't it? Technology brought us desk jobs and hours of TV, causing us to spend too much time on our bottoms in the first place... and now technology can help us get up and get moving again.

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