Article – The Truth about Sitting
In recent years the concept of sitting being harmful to our health has picked up quite a bit of steam. The attention is justified! According to Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative who authored the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”, sitting for as little as two continuous hours increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer, back and neck pain, and other orthopedic problems.1 His research claims have support too. A 2010 American Cancer Society study that followed 123,216 adults for 13 years showed that women who were inactive and sat for more than six hours a day were 94% more likely to die during the period studied than those who were physically active and sat for less than three hours a day. Men in the study fared better but still had a 48% higher likelihood of death for those who were inactive and sat more than six hours per day as compared to their active counterparts.2
It is also worth noting that these findings were independent of physical activity levels. The negative effects of sitting were just as strong in people who exercised regularly but then sat greater than three hours per day. Let’s revisit that last statement one more time for clarity. According to the research even if you eat well and workout religiously for an hour a day, but then sit for greater than three hours per day, the sitting behavior will chip away or even cancel out the benefits of all of your exercise at the gym. The reality is you are still considered a sedentary person.3
With such a looming body of evidence demonstrating how harmful sitting is for our health and wellbeing it may be time to invest in some alternatives. Here are my top three suggestions to help you get started.
My first suggestion is to be intentional about getting up at least once every hour when you do find yourself sitting. You can make it as simple as simply getting up and walking around your house or more involved by doing some great stretches for your middle back like you will learn in todays “Exercise of the Month” video. It does not really matter that much what you do when you get up according to the research. It matters most that you make a point of standing up.
Another great idea to get you on your feet more often is to be strategic about how you position both standing and sitting tasks. One way that I have done this is to place breaks like getting the mail, doing dishes, prepping a meal, feeding our dog, and other tasks that involve getting up with other responsibilities like office time that are more sedentary.
A final suggestion is to get some kind of fitness tracking device like a FitBit that shows you how active you are in a given day. Sometimes we don’t even realize how much activity we’re lacking. Fitness tracking devices can provide excellent information that communicates exactly how much activity we are getting in a given day. I personally love the FitBit brand for this because you see your steps like many trackers provide but you also get a measure of your active minutes, those minutes you are up and moving versus sitting. Several of our clients have made some great improvements in their health because of the feedback they’ve received from their FitBits.
Join me in using these suggestions to avoid being another statistic. Together we can move towards optimum fitness instead of succumbing to the diseases linked to excessive sitting.
1- James A. Levine, Get Up! Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2014): 70-71.
2- Alpa V. Patel, Leslie Bernstein, Anusila Deka, Heather Spencer Feigelson, Peter T. Campbell, Susan M. Gapshur, Graham A. Colditz, and Michael J. Thun, “Leisure Time Spent Sitting in Relation to Total Mortality in a Prospective Cohort of US Adults, “American Journal of Epidemiology, 172, no. 4 (2010): 419-429.
3-Aviroop Biswas, Paul I. Oh, Guy E. Faulkner, Ravi R. Bajaj, Michael A. Silver, Marc S. Mitchell, and David A. Alter, “Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk For Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”, Annals of Internal Medicine 162, no. 2 (2015): 123-132
Come into BodyBasics on any given Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and you are bound to run into this month’s Client Spotlight, Kelly Frost. Kelly started training with us at the suggestion of her physical therapist Kim Blanchard from Ideal Physical Therapy after the two of them were discussing the benefits of continuing on with supervised exercise programming to support further improvement of her balance, hip mobility, and total body strength. Kelly did not need much convincing having worked with a personal trainer in her past when she lived in Portland. She called and scheduled her evaluation and has been going strong since.
When Kelly started her training sessions at BodyBasics in late August, she had one primary goal. That goal was to be able to walk a max of 5 miles again without pain. Due to some nagging hip pain, the primary reason why she was with Kim in the first place, Kelly’s pain free walking distance had dropped significantly. Within the first month of training with us, she came in one day thrilled to share that she had walked 3 miles with very minimal discomfort.
Now let’s talk about what makes Kelly so amazing. In one word I would describe Kelly as dogged because her commitment to improving herself is so consistent and inspiring to observe. Understand that 5 miles pain free is a BIG deal. It’s big for any one of us who are in pursuit of optimal health. In Kelly’s situation walking 5 miles pain free also represents more. You see Kelly has lived with a debilitating hereditary blood disease all of her life that impacts her bone marrow and wreaks havoc on her bone structure. It is the blood disease that has caused her to battle with looking lady-like for years despite having to wear a right shoe that is built up 3/8” higher than her left. It is this same blood disease that caused her hip to gradually wear down to such a degree that she was obligated out of a desire to live her life to get her right hip replaced in 2004.
Presently Kelly is focused on increasing her stamina by investing time on the recumbent bike. She continues to focus on exercises to improve her hip range of motion and strength along with strengthening the rest of her body as well.
In Her Words: “My goals are to continue to gain more balance, stamina and the ability to maintain my mobility with a combination of BodyBasics and my personal work at home. I am 64 years old and live alone – mobility is the way for me to maintain independence into my 90s.”
Welcome New and Returning Clients
Debra Caldwell – found us through Thumbtack
Ketti McCormick – referred by Jill Owen
Torri Painter – referred by Beth Painter
Theresa Petrillo – referred by Suzie Hilkemeyer
Lisa Ruggles – found us by driving by
Gregg Sinner – daughter found us through Thumbtack
Dale Trudo – referred by Dr. Tait
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Shelley Phipps – with all of her skills learned at BodyBasics, she was able to jump off a bike in mid air and land on her feet instead of falling off the bike as her wheel spun out!
Stephanie and Ross Henderson – for completing the 56 mile distance of the Tour de Tucson on a tandem!
Teena Sandstrom – for cruising along with her sister and friend to the 36 mile finish of another Tour de Tucson!
Marge Furash – for demonstrating yet again how resilient she is as she returns full force back to group only 2 months post-surgery!
Jill Owen – for blasting out 8 reps at 100 lbs. on her Romanian Deadlifts!
This is a fun recipe from Pampered Chef that I have cleaned up a bit to make healthier. I love making this after thanksgiving with left over turkey.
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use reduced fat or Olive Oil mayonnaise)
- 2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 cups (12 ounces) chopped cooked turkey
- 1/2 cup sliced celery
- 3 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese (I use reduced fat swiss cheese)
- 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent dough, seperate into 16 triangles. With wide ends of triangles toward the center of circle. Arrange on pizza stone with wide end touching. Slightly press down to connect to pieces of dough.
- Place mayonnaise, mustard and black pepper in a mixing bowl and combine. Chop turkey and add to bowl. Add celery, pasley and cranberries to bowl and combine. Add swiss cheese. Scoop mixture onto dough and sprinkle coarsely chopped walnuts on top
- Begining in the center, lift one dough triangle across the mixture. Continue alternating inner and outer triangles, slightly overlapping to form wreath.
- Separate egg and lighlty beat egg white. Brush over dough and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Video – Middle Back Stretches
Chris, Kris, Myrya, Kristian, Lance, Rachel, Mike, Star