The bad news about sitting just keeps coming in.
Science tells us that too much sitting can increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a bunch of other problems.
In one study, scientists looked at 1,500 older women to compare sedentary subjects with active peers. They found that the inactive group had cells that were eight years older than the more active women.
“Cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle,” said the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine. “Chronological age doesn’t always match biological age.”
Since a more active body means a more active brain, sedentary seniors risk lower cognitive function, too.
Now the American Cancer Society lists among the dangers of too much sitting: cancer; heart disease; stroke; lung disease; Parkinson’s; Alzheimer’s and more. Sitting too much can hurt you even if you exercise regularly.
So break up an hour of sitting with just two minutes of standing or light activity to improve cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure, the study says.
Turn off the TV and the computer, stand and stretch, move around, go for a walk, or head to the gym.
Try these recommendations from the cancer society, at least:
- Stand and fold laundry while watching TV
- Exercise or stretch while watching
- Stand up and walk around during commercials
- Use stairs instead of elevators
Step 1 is simple: Get up!
Holly Kouvo is a personal trainer, functional aging specialist, senior fitness specialist, brain health trainer, writer, and speaker.