• Kellie Olver

Beware the Chair - Why Sitting Can Kill You and What to Do About It*

Photo by whotv.com

I have something very important to share with you in this post Beware the Chair! I sit so much, this freaks me out!

No, I do not just rhyme here. So what am I talking about? I’m talking about that chair you are sitting on. Yes, you read it correctly –the chair you are sitting on can do more harm to your health than good. Sometimes, the most harmless looking thing can actually be the most harmful to your health.

I know, you are probably thinking, “REALLY Kellie?”. Yes, really. Let me tell you WHY it is important to beware the chair.

Articles and posts about Beware the Chair and why sitting can kill you and what to do about it are on the top of the list of the US National Library of Medicine, the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and other health and wellness sites. The reason being that sitting is now being considered on par if not more dangerous than smoking.

Sitting is harmful to your health.

Source: TED-Ed

The question is, is this topic even on your radar at all? Especially because you are most likely sitting on your chair as you read this article.

So, let’s begin. Beware the Chair-Why Sitting Can Kill You and What to ­Do About It.

Right off the bat lets address the pink elephant in the article: Sitting can kill you. That should be enough right there. Your body was designed to move and be in motion. Not sit still. Yoga enthusiasts, proclaimed gurus and even Joseph Pilates himself have repeated time and time again that you are as young as your spine is flexible. If your spine is not flexible, you do not move. If you can’t move, don’t move or worse, won’t move, you are in big trouble.

Photo from http://www.webmd.com

When you stop moving your body thinks it is dying and starts to shut down. Studies are now reporting that sitting at your desk job can actually rob you of many years of your life.

Even if you exercise excessively, excessive sitting counters all the benefits and all the hours you have logged on the treadmill, on the tennis court and in the weight room. THAT’S A BUMMER!

Image from http://www.diygenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/truth-about-sitting-down-infographic.jpg

OH, another reason to beware the chair? Cancer. In a report summarizing conclusions found from the 2015 Inaugural Active Working Summit, where consequences of prolonged sitting were evaluated, one study introduced at the event reported the following findings.

That sitting

  • Increases Lung cancer 50%

  • Increases Uterine cancer 64%

  • Increases Colon cancer 30%

Have I convinced you to stand up yet?

Why sitting can kill you, and what to do about it, needs to be taken seriously. And quite frankly, I believe most of us don’t consider the consequences of sitting. I know I didn’t. I do now.

Let’s keep going. I’m on a roll here!

Obesity is another reason to beware the chair.

by derivative work James Heilman, MD (talk)Central_Obesity_011.jpg FatM1keCentral_Obesity_008.jpg FatM1ke - Central_Obesity_011.jpgCentral_Obesity_008.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

Here's the scoop. It is common knowledge that when you don’t move your body, you don’t burn calories. So no matter how strict you are with eating healthy, you won’t necessarily lose weight or sweat out toxins. Naturally, sitting is bad for your health because when you are sitting, your metabolism drops down. This is why sitting has become one of the major causes of obesity.

Sitting and obesity? What is the connection? Well let me spell it out to you from first-hand experience. Most people who have nothing significant to occupy their time with, occupy it with eating. This is mostly psychological but it has been proven to be true. It’s a case of a bored stomach.

Image from http://www.diygenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/truth-about-sitting-down-infographic.jpg

That was me at one time. And if I couldn’t be bothered to get off my butt from watching TV, I certainly was not interested in getting up to exercise and suffice to say I wasn’t bothered at all to prepare healthy nutrition. I was a couch potato!

Kellie Olver Couch Potato

Yup, a couch potato. It has become an expected necessity for these people (couch potatoes) to munch on food that requires no preparation and is easy to access. In other words, junk food. Seldom can you find a person munching on carrots and cucumbers while doing an 18 hours movie-marathon on the couch.

And we all know that obesity comes with all kinds of life shortening diseases. One of the top diseases from obesity is cardio vascular disease. Diseases can range from high blood pressure to life altering heart problems. Yet again, more top reasons everyone should beware the chair.

Are you standing yet?

Insulin resistance is another one on the list of why you should beware the chair. Sitting for long periods of time intensifies insulin resistance of the body. Thus, the risk of acquiring diabetes with people having 9-5 desk jobs (for example) is highest compared to heart disease or cancer.

Image from http://www.diygenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/truth-about-sitting-down-infographic.jpg

Ok. One more reason to beware the chair. Anxiety and Depression. Research has shown a correlation between time spent in the chair and a decrease in mental health. I know that when I am writing a lot, sitting at my computer, by the end of 12-14 hours a day, I am ready for the wagon. Seriously! I had no idea the emotional 4 letter experlatives were related to the chair!

For all of the above reasons, I am taking this article “Beware the Chair-Why Sitting Can Kill You and What to Do About It” VERY SERIOUSLY. I hope you do too.

So, let’s get to the next part: what to do about it?

If you are one of those people who have a sedentary lifestyle, it’s time to move! Right now I want you to STAND UP!

Image from http://www.diygenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/truth-about-sitting-down-infographic.jpg

Standing instead of sitting has tons of positive health benefits! And even if you do exercise, remember, even excessive exercise cant counter years of being sedentary. Simply stand up. It is that simple.

Like smoking, the effects of being inactive for a long time are irreversible but the risk of future diseases is lessened. Getting the right amount of daily exercise is a good anti-aging practice and getting a move on is best for your own longevity!

But instead of going to the gym for an hour or two and then sitting away the rest of the day, you need to spread out that movement on intervals throughout the day. Check out Dr Mercola’s thoughts on getting up every hour from a sitting position and how that is better for you. Those people who completely do not exercise will get the worse unhealthy consequences.

Source: Mercola

Sitting can kill you, trust me. And no, it’s not because of a freak accident but because of the health risks I’ve mentioned above.

One thing you can also do to ensure you don’t get lax in getting that time standing up is to actually stand up while working. If you are like me that basically does most work in a computer, why not take your laptop to your breakfast bar (assuming you have one) and work from there.

In fact I am standing at my high top breakfast table right now finishing this article. You can keep working while standing as the height of the counter or table top will be the best fit for your body as opposed to standing up and bending down to your desk to use your computer.

Image from http://www.diygenius.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/truth-about-sitting-down-infographic.jpg

Another tip you can use to get yourself to leave your chair for a few minutes is to hydrate. Get up from your chair every 30 minutes and grab a glass from the kitchen and have a drink of water. Not only will this stretch out your legs but you will also nourish your skin and body with proper hydration. In time, your skin will be glowing and beautiful making you look and feel younger.

A few more tips for the road: use a stability ball as your sitting chair (your muscles will be in a constant state of twitch trying to keep you stable); rock from side to side on your feet; do a few jumping jacks; as you stand, twist from your waist; every hour-get up and take a spin around your office or living room; if you have some stairs nearby, make it a practice to hit the stairs at least twice during your daily walk abouts.

So when I said “Beware the Chair”, I wasn’t kidding!

I hope you take to heart why sitting can kill you and what to do about it. The earlier you change your sitting habit, the better it will be for your body.

Till next time,


* Disclaimer:


http://www.c4im.net/articles15.htm http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/too-much-sitting-linked-to-an-early-death-201401297004 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17sitting-t.html?_r=0 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3384027/ http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/841248 https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/diabetes http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/07/prolonged-sitting-depression.aspx http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/20150430/2-minute-walk-every-hour-may-help-offset-effects-of-sitting http://www.webmd.boots.com/heart-disease/news/20150731/standing-v-sitting-health-benefits http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25448843 http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/04/11/intermittent-movement.aspx


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https://en.wikipedia.org "Obesity6" by derivative work: James Heilman, MD (talk)Central_Obesity_011.jpg: FatM1keCentral_Obesity_008.jpg: FatM1ke - Central_Obesity_011.jpgCentral_Obesity_008.jpg. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Obesity6.JPG#/media/File:Obesity6.JPG



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