GET UP! Sitting Less Can Add Years To Your Life

Updated: Jul 28, 2021

Long sitting hours are slowly killing you.

Before you proceed to the article, do not forget to listen to Episode 7 of Wellevate Life Podcast featuring Sports Scientist Michael Omann

  • Michael Omann is a Sports Scientist and Founder of MovEvo

  • He was the Head of Sports and Movement Therapy at VIVAMAYR Health Retreat

  • His Mantra “Use it or Lose it”

  • He practices Integrative Sports Science in Holistic Movement & Health

The idea of a healthy living has to do with avoiding everything that can increase the damage to our physical and mental state. Amongst the other harmful aspects that we tend to discuss and stay away from, there is a new and worse factor of all ‘sitting’. There is a direct relationship between time spent sitting and your risk of early mortality of any cause. It’s based on a study of nearly 8,000 adults. As your total sitting time increases, so does your risk of an early death.

Michael Omann has witnessed the effect of sitting very closely, in years of experience as a sports scientist, his field of specialty makes him and expert in knowing the direct link between health and extensive sitting habit. The obligation of our lives is the environment we are usually in, which involves less movement and longer hours of sitting.

Exercise guidelines have bene made quite precise; it would be good if we could also have similar guidelines for sitting. As a matter of fact, sitting as an issue has been understood and grasped by a lot of professionals which not only makes it a liability to our routines but also an urgency to save ourselves from a fatal and chaotic future. What isn't easily understood is the behaviour of sitting being harmful. James Levine addresses it as - "sitting kills".

To logically explain this expression, the most significant diagnosis would be not only a western lifestyle, but more global. The elaboration of comfort by sitting is inculcated from childhood. As kids, we have immense energy and we urge to let it out. Kids nowadays are glued to a place and the ones who aren't able to contain it, are a victim of ADHD. They are then weighed down by the pills and sitting becomes a forced habit.

Many of us have chosen televisions, smart phones and laptops as our life reapers, but what stops us from getting up every 30 minutes and stretch, walk, move a bit? Why is self-responsibility of our own health become a trillion-dollar industry? Simple, easy steps are the cure to most health challenges.

The essence of giving these reality checks is to bring the Vitality of muscle movement to attention. Sitting decelerates the exercise and motion of these muscles leading us into a never-ending tornado of monotony. In a position where your buttocks that are supposed to be the strongest muscle, weaken into limp existence.

Sitting or being seated also impacts the vertebrae and the backbone as the shape of it curves, which indirectly is a pressure to the body. Arching the back also means that the neck will need more support causing a repetitive straining injury. On the longer run, this causes the thoracic region to stiffen and the rigidity leads to multiple problems.

Michael Omann uses the example of Steve Jobs quite often, for his alternative methods to conduct professional meetings and working. Steve Jobs held walking meetings, as it provides a better blood circulation to the body and stimulates the brain cells, causing higher levels of productivity. The oxygen supply should be in abundance which unfortunately is not the case in sitting down.

With the act of more ‘Seating’, comes the fact of more ‘Eating’

Michael correctly points out, the undeniable consequences of sitting for long, makes more consumption of calories, because that multiplies the impact of it on the body. There might be chances of you eating a lot while seated; you end up having 60 Kcal/hour. This slows your metabolism down. Although, while standing that increases by 8%. When you calculate these numbers, you’re consuming 175,000 kcal more which would take 62 marathons for you to burn. How many do you participate in every year?

The ignorance of this particular subconscious sedentary lifestyle habit can lead to diseases like Obesity, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular diseases and many others. Studies show that every hour watching TV can reduce our lifespan by 22 minutes.

We obviously cannot go back to a prehistoric lifestyle where they walked for all their daily necessities. But what we can do is walk minimum 10,000 steps every day. If you are walking fewer steps than you need to, get back on your feet. There are changes that can be made to your travelling, at work or home. You can walk or bicycle to places. You can go for a walk during your lunch break at work and choose to stand or move while working in small gaps throughout your shift time. Take the stairs as much as possible. Every 30 minutes make it a point to get up – walk, jump, crawl Just Move!!

The first time we do this, the positive effects are immediate, we need to pay more attention to moving.

Always remember “when the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.

Use it or Lose it !!