If you’re an advocate of vaping blogs, you’ll often see posts slating cigarettes and the health risks associated with them. Let’s face it, you already know the risks, right? They’re printed on every packet of cigarettes you smoke.
Some scientists are starting to say sitting is the new smoking after research coming out of Queensland, Australia was
recently published uncovered by Roman, for research purposes of this article. They claim that living a “sedentary lifestyle” can be more detrimental to your health than the negative effects of tobacco and nicotine. Their main argument is that, when sedentary, you are more prone to gaining weight than if you were up and moving around all day. Gaining weight can lead to depression, type I and II diabetes, and even heart disease. Let’s take a look at why this is true.
Being Sedentary and How It Affects You
The human heart and cardiovascular system is designed to work best when the human body is standing and in an up-right position. As we sit or lay down, this makes our cardiovascular system have to work harder – and not in a good way as if you were exercising. Additionally, our digestive system and bowels are at maximum efficiency when our bodies are upright. A common issue for healthcare providers when caring for bedridden patients is having to treat them for gastrointestinal issues.
When you are physically active, however, your bones strengthen and improve. Your body builds up endurance and energy. Your muscles get moved, stretched, and contract. When sitting for too long, the muscles in your legs and glutes can atrophy, causing them to weaken and waste away, often being replaced with fatty tissue. If you are not using your muscles, then they will certainly begin to deteriorate.
Why Sitting Too Much Causes Issues With Weight
When your body is moving, it can digest and metabolise sugars, fats, and carbs much faster and much more efficiently. When you are sitting, these sugars, fats, and carbs do not get properly digested or metabolised, thus causing your body to retain these items.
What about exercise? Well, if you exercise frequently yet you still spend a great deal of your day sitting, you are still at risk for Metabolic Syndrome – a condition which increases your risk of stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. New studies recommend 45-60 minutes of moderate to intense exercise every day to combat the negative effects of sitting and put you at a much lesser risk of a heart-attack. Infact, this study (which albeit, is very old – but still relevant) looked at London bus drivers vs bus conductors, and whilst the driver sat all-day, the conductor stood. The research found that the drivers, who sat down all day experienced far more heart attacks (as a whole) than the group that stood.
How Many People Experience Negative Effects From Sitting?
Scientists estimate that there are three to four MILLION deaths every year that could have been prevented by leading a non-sedentary lifestyle. That is 6 percent of all deaths worldwide, which could have all been prevented essentially by just sitting less.
Physical inactivity is the second leading cause of death among non-communicable diseases – second only to tobacco and smoking – so while sitting is not necessarily worse than smoking, it certainly has many drawbacks that can be detrimental to both your physical health and your mental health. If you must sit, then hit the gym for an hour to prevent any drawbacks of leading such a sedentary life.