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Sitting is the New Smoking

By Nicole Stokes, Active Care Specialist, October 2015

If you’ve ever picked up a magazine, read a book, watched a TV, or talked to a doctor, you know that smoking is bad for you. You might not realize, however, just how bad excessive sitting can be. A few weeks ago we looked at some of the risks of excessive sitting. This blog delves deeper why sitting too long is bad for you, and what you can do about it.


Many occupations require workers to sit for prolonged periods of time without a break or a chance to move. Research has emerged indicating that sedentary sitting behaviours are associated with a 112% increase in the risk of diabetes, a 147% increase in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 49% increase in all-cause mortality. There is also a correlation between the risk of developing certain cancers with increased sedentary sitting behavior.

So why is this? As we sit for prolonged periods of time, our bodies switch into a “dormant” mode that compromises its ability to break down fats and sugars. When sugar isn’t broken down in the body, it remains in the blood stream and increases the risk for developing diabetes. In addition, excess fat floating around the body that has not been broken down can lodge itself in your arteries and wreak havoc on your cardiovascular system. Research has found that excess sugar in your body can also increase your risk of developing cancers of the gut. When we give our bodies the opportunity to move, we get it out of this dangerous “dormant” mode which allows sugars and fats to be absorbed more efficiently. Take care of your body and give it the opportunity to wake up, even if it’s just for a couple minutes.

Exercising before and after work, while good for your overall health is not enough to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting. Sitting too long is harmful no matter how fit and active you are. Some helpful tips to reduce sitting time:

  • Promote walking or standing meetings at work
  • When you need to make a phone call, stand or walk
  • Make sure you get up every 30 – 45 minutes even if it’s just for 2 minutes
  • Get other employees to take breaks to stand so you don’t feel awkward doing it alone
  • Consider the numerous exercises you can perform at your desk: squats, dips, push-ups on your chair, mountain climbers…BE CREATIVE!

If you missed our original post on why sitting is the new smoking, you can read it here;

If you’ve decided that you’d rather walk than sit, our October promotion might be right up your alley! Order a pair of compression socks this month and we’ll give you a free pair of novero earphones.