Have you ever flipped through old photos of people who lived through the agricultural times? Almost all of them are healthy looking; not too fat and not too thin. That’s because most of them didn’t stay in one place for very long. The farmers back then didn’t have television or computers to keep them from being active. Most importantly, the people back then had to stay active to ensure plenty of food was being placed on the table.
Scroll forward into the 21st century and most of the population lives a very sedentary lifestyle. Whether at work or at play, many are sitting in front of a computer screen, laying on the couch in front of the television, or sitting down somewhere with their phone in hand. The 21st century man does not have to work hard for his meal thanks to technological advances. While modern technology has made it very convenient to live almost without having to work for our food like our agricultural ancestors did it has actually hindered our health.
Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known doctor who touts alternative medicine, recently wrote about the benefits of standing. Dr. Mercola’s article highlights Dr. James Levine’s book, Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It. Dr. Levine’s book brings up hard evidence that sitting in a chair for long periods of time is not conducive to one’s health but actually causes a lot of health ailments, including obesity and Type II diabetes. According to Dr. Levine, who is co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, periods of inactivity are “associated with the molecular mechanisms at the cellular level that are associated with causality for diabetes, hypertension, and even potentially cancer and other deleterious effects”.
Dr. Mercola also writes in his article that studies of agricultural populations sit for no more than 3 hours a day while the average American office worker sits for 13 to 15 hours a day. It’s no wonder that American obesity is on the rise, even among today’s youth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that obesity in children have tripled during the teen years, based on results of a study conducted between 1980 through 1990. A Canadian and Danish study backs up this claim by identifying a parallell between increased video game usage among teens and increased weight gain.
The moral of the story folks is to get up, stand up, and move! But how much should we be standing? Dr. Levine recommends to stand up and move around for 10 minutes per every hour. However, Dr. Mercola is aiming for himself to sit less than an hour and stand up and move around as much as possible to counter the ill-effects of sitting.
So kick that chair to the curb and get up and move around. You owe it to yourself to stand up for you health.