Exercise Is Not Enough
Doctors and physiologists recommend that people who work in a sedentary job also get some medium to high intensity exercise during their leisure hours. The actual recommended amounts varies from one specialist to another, so I’m not going to quote numbers here. Rather, the point I want to make is that current research indicates no amount of exercise can make up for too much time sitting.
As reported in Women’s Health Magazine http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/sedentary-lifestyle , Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic states that our bodies evolved to move and to stand upright. He is quoted as saying, “As human beings, we evolved to stand upright. For thousands of generations, our environment demanded nearly constant physical activity.” Dr. Levine, the author of Move a Little, Lose a Lot, says “America suffers from ‘sitting disease.’ ”
In my previous article, “Can Too Much Sitting Kill You?” I showed how the incidence of many serious diseases can be exacerbated by spending too much time sitting, whether at work or on leisure time. In an article published in Annals of Internal Medicine http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2091327 , the authors concluded that “Prolonged sedentary time was independently associated with deleterious health outcomes regardless of physical activity.” Dr. David Alter of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, one of the authors of the study, stated on CBS News http://www.cbsnews.com/news/too-much-sitting-raises-risk-of-death-even-if-you-exercise/ that half an hour or an hour of exercise every day does not make it OK to sit for the balance of the day. Among other things, the study found that the risk of contracting diabetes increased by 91%.
In the CBS News article, there is also quite a bit of discussion about getting away from our sedentary habits. One that is discussed at some length is the use of a standing desk.