- We sit at the table and eat our meals or sit in a chair and eat our snacks.
- We sit in cars and commute to work, run errands, and shuttle our children.
- We sit at our desk and work all day.
- We sit at our computer and do "social networking", surf the web, or shop online.
- We sit down to relax.
- We sit down to watch TV or play video games.
- Finally, at the end of the day, we lay down and sleep.
Have you ever counted all the hours you spend sitting/laying down? That's exactly what I did yesterday. And here's my results for a 24 hour time period:
- 8 hours sleeping
- 2 hours sculling (my newest sport)
- 4 hours walking "to and from" various places
- 1 hour walking the dog (4x/day 15 min each)
- 1 hour playing in the water
- 3 hours eating meals (sitting)
- 3 hours working on the computer (sitting)
- 1 hour quiet time (meditation)
- 1 hour travelling by car (sitting)
The following video, 23 1/2 hours, by Dr. Mike Evans (myfavouritemedicine.com) is my favorite video and I think it should be required viewing by every child in school and every grownup whose ever battled weight gain, hypertension, heart disease, joint pain, diabetes, and/or high cholesterol.
We, in the fitness community, fight so very hard to get our clients to exercise just 30 minutes a day. It feels like we're pushing a bus uphill. Really, why is getting people to move so difficult? When the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days a week, that's a total of 150 minutes a week, why can't we get people to do even the minimum? If I could persuade you with the facts:
- Adults who watch more than 6 hours of television (computers/screens) a day live 5 years less. The average adult in the United States watches 5 hours a day.
- Low fitness is the strongest predictor of death: no hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes or smoking.
- An active obese individual fares much better than an inactive obese individual.
- Individuals who walked 10 minutes a day had no change to their health, compared to individuals who walked 11-20 minutes decreased their risk of hypertension by 12%, while individuals who walked greater than 21 minutes decreased their risk of hypertension by 29%.
- Individuals who received a stent (for clogged arteries) fared 18% better post surgery if they exercised than those who did not exercise.
My thanks to Dr. Mike Evans, myfavouritemedicine.com.
Please take a look at your own habits and write down or comment back to me how much time you spend sedentary. I hope you're "sitting" less than 23 1/2 hours.