A new Australian study reported in the January 2010 issue of the Wall Street Journal took a look at the impact of sedentary behavior on health, linking time watching television to an increased risk of death. The most surprising finding was that the affect was not just on "couch potatoes" but even for people who exercised regularly. The risk of death increased the longer they were in front of the TV. The problem was the prolonged period of time sitting still.
Researchers tracked 8,800 people for an average of 6 years and found those who watched TV for more than 4 hours per day were 46% more likely to die of any cause and 80% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those reporting they spent less than 2 hours a day watching TV. This not only applies to time spent in front of the television but also time spent at a computer desk or playing video games.
The nation's sedentary behavior has been in the spotlight in recent years due to the epidemic of obesity in the U.S and around the world. The public-health message urges children and adults to put down the remote or video game controller and get on a treadmill or participate in outdoor activities or sports.
The research supports how prolonged periods of inactivity can affect the body's processing of fats and other substances that contribute to heart risk and suggest they can be avoided by reducing the extended periods of sitting.
As a Panama City & Florida Injury personal injury attorney, I often found myself sitting for long periods of time while talking to my clients, working on documents, or researching case law that pertained to the victims of personal injury accidents that I represent predominantly in the Panama City area of Florida and in Alabama and Georgia. Being concerned with my health and reading other reports of the benefits of "walking while working," I made the decision to replace my desk with a Sit/Walkstation desk.
This allows me to walk on the treadmill at a maximum 2 mph and still be able to work (reading, researching or typing on my computer, or talking) comfortably. This slow pace helps to improve my cardiovascular health without my becoming winded even while talking on the phone with clients or other business contacts. The Walkstation also lowers to desk level when I want to sit to work or rest.
The study I mentioned above points out that the absence of movement can slow down our metabolic processes. Keeping such processes working more effectively doesn't require a constant intense exercise. Slow movement as on the walk station is an improvement, and just standing is better than sitting, so get UP.
Wes Pittman is an attorney in Panama City, Florida. For over 30 years, he has been helping people who have been injured as a result of someone else's negligence whether their injuries stem from automobile and truck accidents, Jones Act and unseaworthiness maritime cases, product liability claims, and medical malpractice cases. He is available 24/7 to answer your questions by phone, or you can email him at AskWes@pittmanfirm.com.