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  • Sitting can be a nice break from a busy day. But considering many of us spend our entire

  • workday at a desk, followed by downtime in front of a computer or TV, one has to wonder:

  • how exactly is sitting affecting your body?

  • heck

  • The answer is pretty shocking. As soon as you sit down the electrical activity in your

  • muscles drops significantly and your calorie-burning rate plummets to about 1 calorie per minute.

  • After only 3 hours of sitting, there is a 50% drop in artery dilation, and as a result

  • a decrease in blood flow. Sit for 24 hours straight, and the insulin in your body loses

  • nearly 40% of its ability to uptake glucose, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.

  • And things only get worse from here.

  • After 2 weeks of sitting for more than 6 hours a day, LDL cholesterol, sometimes called the

  • badcholesterol, is increased, along with other fatty molecules putting you at

  • a greater risk for weight gain. On top of this, the enzymes responsible for breaking

  • down fats plunge. And because of the prolonged inactivity, your muscles begin to break down.

  • Gradually, their contractions become weaker, ultimately impeding the pumping of blood to

  • the heart. Even if you work out regularly, the minute you stop moving, the deterioration

  • begins again, in proportion to your sitting time. And that’s the scary part; research

  • shows that just as exercise doesn’t necessarily counteract the negative effects of something

  • like smoking, it doesn’t counteract the negative effects of too much sitting.

  • A year later, the effects begin to compound, and some studies in women have even shown

  • a decrease in bone mass upwards of 1% every year. Think your brain is more important than

  • your body? Physical movement not only helps pump blood and oxygen to the brain but also

  • sends mood enhancing hormones. When we don’t move, brain function begins to slow down.

  • Perhaps most shockingly is that after 10-20 years of sitting for 6 hours a day, you may

  • have lost up to 7 quality-adjusted life years - that is, years without medical issues or

  • death. For example, the risk of dying from heart disease increases by 64% while the risk

  • of prostate or breast cancer increases by 30%. If everybody sat for no more than 3 hours

  • a day, it’s estimated that the average lifespan would rise by 2 years.

  • Simply put, our bodies aren’t designed to be sedentary. And sitting for 8 hours a day

  • at work is just as bad for those who go home and watch TV as it is for those who hit up

  • the gym. It can literally be a lethal activity.

  • So what’s the best solution? We put together a list of the top tips to fight the sitting

  • epidemic, no matter how lazy you are, using scientific research and clever tricks to make

  • it easy. There is a link in the description to that video, which you should definitely

  • watch.

  • Special thanks to for supporting this episode and giving you a free audio book

  • of your choice at Audible is the leading provider of audiobooks with

  • over 150,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature. We recommend the book

  • The Selfish Geneby Richard Dawkins, which contains some amazing insights into

  • evolution and the biological world. You can download this audio book or another of your

  • choice, for free, at And with a subscription you get one free book

  • a month! Special thanks Audible for making these videos possible!

  • And subscribe for more weekly science videos!

Sitting can be a nice break from a busy day. But considering many of us spend our entire

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Are You Sitting Too Much?

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    Ashley Chen posted on 2015/01/04
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