Don’t Just Sit There!
Since the original 1956 research of the London transport system investigating the difference in cardiac episodes between bus drivers and the conductors on the buses, we have witnessed the importance of activity and the detriment of sedentary behavior. In this study the conductors of the 2-level buses had fewer cardiac episodes and fared better after having a cardiac episode than the more sedentary bus driver. The conductors collected monies walking back and forth and climbed the 2-level bus throughout the day while the drivers just sat.
More recently the sedentary behavior of our society as proved to be hazardous. A 2015 article in Annals of Internal Medicine showed that the amount of time a person sits during the day is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death, regardless of regular exercise. This study highlighted the reality that it is not good enough to exercise for 30-45 minutes each day and then be sedentary for the remaining 23 plus hours a day. A similar study out of The Journal of American Heart Association found a 13 percent higher risk of death for each additional 2 hours per day of television-watching time.
Many of our high technological jobs require sitting at a computer, however there has been a surge to find improved alternatives including standing desks and desks attached to treadmills. Whatever your patient’s situation encourage them to stand and take short walks frequently during the day to avoid the deleterious effects of sitting. A 2014 article in Medicine Science Sports and Exercise demonstrated that a 5 minute walk every hour of sitting helps reverse the adverse effects of sitting. Another study showed walking 2 minutes every half hour could be more effective at reducing diabetes risk than taking one brisk 30 minute walk a day. I encourage my patients to get up every 25-30 minutes for a short walk…plan to do the same for your patient.
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