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Sitting Too Much is Hurting Our Health—And These 7 Statistics Prove It


Americans sit an average of 9.5 hours a day, which is…a lot.

Whether it’s in your office at work or on the couch at home, you’re probably sitting a lot more than you think.

Unfortunately, all this sitting hurts our health—and the research behind it is pretty shocking.

We’ve rounded up 7 science-backed statistics about sitting that’ll motivate you to ditch the chair, plus some tips for getting moving more often.

1. We Don’t Exercise Nearly Enough

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Only 28 percent of Americans are meeting the CDC-recommended amount of weekly exercise, which is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

The reason this is a big deal? Regular weekly exercise comes with an array of benefits, including better sleep, improved brain health, reduced anxiety, stronger bones, and lower blood pressure.

2. Sitting Too Much Increases Your Cancer Risk

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Eye-opening research published by JAMA Oncology found that a greater amount of sedentary time was associated with a higher risk of dying from cancer.

The same study found that replacing 30 minutes of sedentary time with moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity has the potential to reduce this risk by 31 percent.

3. If You Work in an Office, You Likely Sit Longer Than Most

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The normal office worker sits around 15 hours per day!

And there’s more: Sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950, according to the American Heart Association, and physically active jobs now make up less than 20% of the U.S. workforce, according to Johns Hopkins.

4. Prolonged Sitting Increases Your Risk of Dementia

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UCLA research suggests there is a link between prolonged sitting and reduced thickness of a brain region that helps form new memories.

This is significant because the thinning of that brain area can potentially lead to cognitive decline and dementia in middle-aged and older adults.

5. Sitting Most of the Day Poses a Similar Risk to Smoking

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People who sit more than eight hours a day with no physical activity have a risk of dying similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.

So, even if you’re in great shape and have never touched a cigarette, sitting most of the day is just as dangerous to your health.

6. Your Diabetes Risk Increases If You Sit Too Much

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Prolonged sitting significantly increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the journal Diabetologia.

Along these lines, the American Diabetes Association points to a study that found performing three minutes of movement every half hour improved blood glucose levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

7. Just 10 Minutes of Daily Moderate Activity Could Make a Huge Difference

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Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that if adults between the ages of 40 and 85 did just 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, we could prevent more than 110,000 deaths each year.

Examples of moderate to vigorous physical activity include walking at a brisk pace, jogging, riding a bike, playing tennis, or doing heavy cleaning around the house.

Tips to Reduce Your Sitting Time

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If these statistics make you want to ditch your chair ASAP, here are some tips for incorporating more movement into your day:

Try a standing desk at work or in your home office.

Set an alarm to take a 5 to 10-minute walking break every 30 minutes.

Bring your morning coffee outside for a walk around the block.

Make time to play with the kids or your dog. (A fun and easy way to move more!)

Take a brief walk after eating dinner. (It’ll also help with digestion.)

Use the stairs instead of an elevator whenever possible.

Get up and move during commercial breaks if you’re watching TV.

Take a few walking laps around your house or the office.

Throw on your favorite song and dance.

Take your dog for a walk.

Pace around while you’re on a phone call.

Drink more water. Not only is it good for your health, but you’ll have to get up for bathroom breaks more often.

Use a fitness tracker to monitor how many steps you’re taking each day, and aim for 10,000. (Fewer than 5,000 steps per day is a sign you’re too sedentary.)

Remember, 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there really adds up! Even small breaks can make a significant difference and decrease your risk for serious health issues.

Walking For Weight Loss | Your 14-Day Plan

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Guess what, my friends, walking works. Study after study proves that people who walk regularly stay more youthful, stronger, and happier in old age.

To get started, try my free 14-day challenge and get walking for a weight loss plan.

Walking For Weight Loss | Your 14-Day Plan

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

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From healthy skin to improved memory, check out the top 14 health benefits of cucumbers!

And if you’re lucky enough to have a load from your garden or farmers market on hand, you’ll definitely want to check out some of our favorite cucumber recipes, too.

14 Health Benefits of Cucumbers (And a Few Refreshing Recipes)

Power Walking For Beginners

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With countless studies proving the health benefits of power walking, learning how to do it will keep you moving well into the future.

Power walking is one of the most maintainable workouts a person can add to their life, so if you haven’t tried it yet, how about starting now?

Power Walking For Beginners

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