Warning: Sitting Is The New Smoking

Know the dangers of sitting and ways to avoid the sitting disease

Profile photo of Harleena Singh - | 118 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Health & Wellness

Office man suffering from sitting disease

Do you know that sitting is the new smoking? Sitting is like you’re smoking even if you’re not, because excessive sitting is going to kill you, softly and slowly.

No, please don’t take this lightly, especially if you are blogger or writer.

This is no joke but a real warning – sitting is killing!

I am not talking about passive smoking, but your passive lifestyle that endangers your life more, making sitting worse than smoking.

Though sitting is not literally smoking, but the similarity is in the number of resulting deaths due to excessive use of both.

Smoking is not a disease, but sitting has been termed a disease.

Actually, sitting disease is a term given for the long periods of physical inactivity and its negative consequences. It refers to the ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.

While a cigarette packet comes with a statutory warning, your modern lifestyle isn’t labeled with such warnings.

The result – we are carefree.

That is why posts like this are needed – to increase awareness so that you start taking care of yourself. If you are aware of the dangers of sitting, you might take up a “standing” resolution.

However, even though the health and medical experts all round the word have been raising this alarm for the last few years, sedentary living has increasingly become a norm everywhere.

The fact is that excessive sitting means lack of physical activity, due to which, the metabolism of your body goes down. Thus, over time, your body becomes a hub of sedentary lifestyle diseases.

This is dangerous because sitting might appear as a harmless normal activity, and long sitting hours might be part of your daily routine. But it actually does more harm than good.

As a blogger, I do sit for long hours and probably you do too. Yes, I take my breaks in-between, but those are not good enough. You will learn why, once you read a little further.

All authors, bloggers, office workers, drivers, writers, night workers, couch potatoes, and others are susceptible to suffer from the sitting disease.

You need to be aware that sitting is the new smoking, and in fact it’s even more deadly. It’s a silent killer.

The only way to avoid this sitting disease is to educate yourself and take preventive actions.

“For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.” ~ Martha Grogan, Cardiologist, Mayo Clinic

Sitting Is The New Smoking – The Dangers Of Sitting

Do you still have doubts?

Of course, the sedentary lifestyle diseases include hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease mainly; sitting is the latest add-on to this class.

The sitting disease results because of our lifestyle habits, which are increasingly becoming sedentary.

Look at this screenshot I captured while I was searching for my query related to “sitting”. The results were astoundingly shocking!

Google search screenshot for sitting disease

Now, some would say, “What in the world, can’t I even sit?”

Of course, you can.

It’s only excessive, continuous sitting for long hours, without any sort of an activity break, which is dangerous and unhealthy.

Studies conducted globally show that people sit for 7.7 hours a day on average, while a few others estimate that most people these days sit up to 15 hours a day.

According to a news report, about 86% of the American workforce keeps sitting for 13 hours a day. This includes the time you sit and watch TV, work on the computer, and other sitting down time at home.

See this infographic to know what sitting does to you.

Infographic showing that sitting is harmful than smoking

Did you see how sitting is related to smoking? Isn’t that a deadly comparison?

Most bloggers almost sit and work for 5 hours, so as per the information in this infographic, a blogger’s lifestyle is like smoking a pack of cigarettes everyday!

That’s right. Sitting is directly related to death or mortality. Yes, the computers and automated machines are a reason, but you cannot put the blame on them entirely.

We are to be blamed for the choices we make. Sometimes our job requires us to sit for long hours, but it’s up to us to take small breaks, or even stretch out while sitting.

With time, the computers have become smaller and people have grown obese because of lack of physical activity. This cartoon strip best illustrates the gradual change in the working lifestyle.

Cartoon strip showing evolution of computer sitting

I’m sure most of you aren’t really obese, nor does the use of computers by default make you obese. But even if you’re not obese, are you fit and healthy otherwise?

Sitting takes a toll also on the people who appear seemingly healthy.

If you don’t balance your work with physical activity, you increase the chances of developing the sitting disease.

The American Medical Association (AMA) agrees that long periods of sitting are dangerous because it promotes sedentary lifestyle and increases the risk of mortality.

Like, the more you smoke, the higher are the chances of suffering from cancer. Similarly, the more you sit, the more vulnerable you are to the sitting diseases, which makes your life difficult, and reduces your life span.

I found this diagram that explains it all.

Sitting is killing poster

Are you now convinced that sitting is the new smoking and it is killing you?

Do you know what happens due to the sitting disease? Let us try to understand what happens to your body when you sit for long hours.

Do you want to know how much you sit? Check out this sitting-time calculator on JustStand.org, where you will find lot’s of other useful information about the ill-effects of sitting.

Why Sitting Is Not Good

As I mentioned earlier, the metabolism rate of your body goes down if you keep sitting down for long hours.

In fact, changes in your body start as soon as you sit down, and you don’t have to wait long to see the side effects of sitting.

Remember that the human body is not built and meant to sit for long hours, and that’s the reason sitting takes a toll on your body.

The following happens to your body when you sit:

1)      Calories burns at a slow rate of 1 calorie per minute

2)      Fat reducing enzymes drop by 90%

3)      Electrical activity in your leg shuts off

4)      Good cholesterol levels drop after sometime

5)      Effectiveness of insulin drops, thus raising the risk of diabetes

The sitting disease can cause irreversible damage if you do not act in time. Whatever you do, you need to cut down on your sitting time and take active breaks in between.

“We’ve become so sedentary that 30 minutes a day at the gym may not counteract the detrimental effects of 8, 9 or 10 hours of sitting.” ~ Genevieve Healy, PhD

Sitting Disease – The Silent Killer

Sitting is bad because it makes you fat. Once you are fat, you open the doors to a host of sedentary lifestyle diseases.

Diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and many others are all silent killers. You can now add sitting to this list too. Even cancer can silently develop within your body, and you wouldn’t even know it.

Here’s an infographic that is a recap of everything about the sitting disease.

Infographic of sitting disease

You need to cut down on your sitting if you want to live long and happy.

If you sit for more than 3 hours each day, you risk becoming obese, developing kidney disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, apart from increasing your chances of cardiovascular disease.

That was all about the problem. Here are some solutions for you.

“Today, our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease.” ~ James Levine, MD, PhD

Ways Of Avoiding The Killer Sitting Disease

Though it is easy to say to sit less to avoid the sitting disease, but it is not always possible.

However, if you can do it, then try to sit for not more than 3 hours per day .This way you’ll increase your lifespan by 2 years.

There are more ways to decrease daily sitting. For example:

1)      Do not sit at a stretch – get up every 15 minutes. Do anything you like, or just stand.

2)      After every hour of sitting, walk for about 10 minutes.

3)      Work on a standing desk for as much time as you can. Standing is a lot healthier than sitting.

Do you know what Matt Cutts’s challenge for June is – a treadmill desk!

It’s the perfect combination for those who work long hours on computers and want to keep the sitting diseases at bay. 🙂

Even Yaro uses a stand up desk, as he had mentioned in his interview on this blog, and you can read about how he uses it here.

Since women are more likely to lead a sedentary lifestyle, they should be more careful and take preventive measures to avoid the sitting disease.

Remember that your half an hour brisk morning walk or a gym stint is not enough and is not going to help you much if you don’t reduce your sitting time.

Make a habit of standing up as much as possible. I know it’s a tough one for me, but I am going to start standing up much more from today, aren’t you too? 🙂

Standing increases the metabolism rate, increases blood flow, burns more calories, as well as improves posture and tones the muscles.

Needless to say that you don’t have to stand all day, but you’ve to mix standing with sitting, such that you stand more and sit less.

Interrupt your sitting with low intensity or medium vigorous physical activities like standing, stretching, walking or jumping, marching, running, and playing sports.

Make your aim to live an active lifestyle that will make you live long, healthy, and happy.

So, if I am ready to change my lifestyle and get avoid the sitting disease – how about you?

Stand up, and start living your life now 🙂

Over to you

Do you believe sitting is the new smoking? What do you think about the sitting disease and the ways to avoid the dangers of sitting? Share in the comments.

Photo Credit:  FreeDigitalPhotos

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Show Comments

118 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Brenda Lee

    June 4, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Oh my gosh Harleena! You just killed my buzz! 🙂

    I knew sitting was bad for you but not this bad. Definitely going to make some changes in my daily work schedule now. This just isn’t cool at all! Ugh!

    Thank you so much for bringing this to light! Definitely sharing!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Hi Bren!

      Did it sound that horrible? Well, I understand that this is not something that any blogger would like to hear of because we all have long sitting hours online. But take it easy and don’t be so alarmed because if you take proper breaks and increase your standing, things are fine.

      However, we need to accept that this is the truth and it’s bad if we ignore this warning. I’m glad you’ve thought of to take immediate action, and that’s what we need to do.

      This post was on my mind for a long time, and I’m glad its off it and on the blog. I hope it helps many.

      Thanks for visiting and have a great day ahead! 🙂

    • Yaro

      June 8, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Amazing write up Leena!

      I first swapped to a standup desk about five years ago and I still consider it one of the best things I ever did for my productivity, and of course health too.

      Now my challenge is to find a way to take a portable standup desk with me as I travel.

      Yaro

      • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

        Harleena Singh

        June 8, 2014 at 2:06 pm

        Hi Yaro,

        This is a great compliment from you! I’m so glad you like the post. 🙂

        You’re a visionary as you start doing things before others even start thinking about them. 🙂 Your post about the stand up desk is very informative and I’m sure it will help everybody. At least, every blogger and internet marketer need to have one!

        I’m sure you’ll find your way to a portable standup desk. Thanks so much for your visit and sharing your personal experiences with us all.

        Do have a great week ahead!

  2. Kumar Gauraw

    June 4, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Sitting is dangerous. I knew that much. But, it is this dangerous, I didn’t know until you shared this.

    I didn’t pay attention to Matt’s June challenge or Yaro’s plan. But, I have been having a standing desk in my office for at least a year now. I stand and work all day and that makes my walking every 15 minutes much easier 🙂

    Now, don’t get to think that I am such a genius that I thought about all this. No! That wasn’t the case for my decision to stand and work.

    It so happened that I started to feel uncomfortable in my thighs due to longer sittings and so I decided to stand and work to avoid that discomfort. And since then, that became my new lifestyle. 🙂

    I am happy about that decision and in fact, feel much better after reading your post!

    Thank you for always adding value with some incredible ideas and topics!

    Regards,
    Kumar

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 1:18 am

      Hi Kumar,

      Well actually it’s not sitting that is dangerous, but long and continuous sitting. I wanted to clear this up for others. 🙂

      So if you sit for long taking good and proper breaks and stretches in between, there’s nothing much to worry.

      But yes, it could be dangerous and needs utmost attention, and one needs to reduce sitting to as less as possible.

      It’s great that you’ve a standing desk in your office! That’s one of the best alternative so that your work should not suffer and you can switch from sitting to standing, and back.

      Yaro did mention in his interview on the Aha!NOW Chat that he too uses it and in fact he has a full post and video on his blog on this topic. It was nice to know that Matt too is experimenting on his treadmill desk. It’s all because this is really a grave issue, which if we ignore, could land us up in a grave soon!

      Sorry if this sounds too alarming, I just wanted this issue to strike in the minds of the readers, so they don’t take it casually.

      It’s good to know that you’re liking your new standing and working lifestyle. It’s amazing how painful things lead to other things that in fact help us make our lives better.

      I’m glad you like the post. Thanks for your visit and have a happy day working at your standing desk! 🙂

  3. Enstine Muki

    June 4, 2014 at 1:30 am

    This is definitely more than twice what I knew. This are really disturbing figures Harleena. Thanks for mentioning the juststand.org tool.

    I think struggling bloggers sit more than successful bloggers. The reason is that most struggling bloggers spend more time doing the things themselves while successful bloggers outsource more of the work and spend their time off the computer.

    This post is worth sharing massively to help bloggers out.

    I’ll do my best

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Hi Enstine,

      That’s why it’s called the silent killer.. you never know how deep and serious the problem is. I agree that its not pleasant to read this facts, but we’ve to anyhow accept them.

      You’re right – the newbies and struggling bloggers like us sit for longer hours trying to put in more than their best to make a name in blogging. The successful bloggers have slogged their way up and deserve the little rest they could carve out of their blogging schedule. But even then, they can’t afford to get complacent and need to keep a watch on their sitting hours.

      Thanks for visiting, commenting, and even sharing this post. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  4. Amit kumar

    June 4, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Hii Harleena mam,

    Thank you so much for sharing this life saver article with us. As a blogger i can say – yes, i am addicted to sit till hours in a day. After reading this article now i am realizing that why i am being unhealthy day by day.

    I am taking very light diet but still feel like “ohhh it’s enough” and gaining more and more weight. Thank you so so much for sharing this health related tips and ricks. I am going to change my routine and my work style.

    – Amit kumar

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Hi Amit,

      I’m glad you find this article useful. It’s not only you, but most of us bloggers are at the desk for beyond the healthy limits of sitting.

      Yes, the effects of long sitting are gradual but the symptoms are explicit if you’re careful to observe. We should not take them lightly, and reduce sitting to counter the negative impact.

      I’m glad you’ve resolved to change your work style and I’m sure that will help a lot.

      Thanks for your visit and for sharing your personal experiences. Have a great day ahead! 🙂

  5. Monisha Kapur

    June 4, 2014 at 1:57 am

    WOW Harleena!! Yet another eye opening post. Ever since I started my business I have been sitting at my computer for long stretches at a time. For one, I’ve noticed that I’ve definitely gained weight but also feel a lot unhealthier… I’m definitely going to start making some changes… Getting up and walking around after a bit is a great idea.
    Thank You so much for sharing this!
    Best,
    Monisha

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Hi Monisha,

      We all need to sit for long periods of time when we start a new job or business, so that’s okay. But frequent breaks, standing, and exercises are the key to balance the harmful impact.

      I’m glad you’ve decided to get more active and I’m sure you’ll start feeling healthier and lose weight too!

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts and experiences. I appreciate it. 🙂

  6. Yvonne I. Wilson

    June 4, 2014 at 2:05 am

    Hi Harleena

    I’ve always known that sitting for too long a period was dangerous to ones health, especially as it relates to the circulatory system. But what you’ve just shared in this post opened up another ‘can of worms.’ This sounds scary.

    Having Nursed for approximately 10 years, I had to be worrying about the long hours of standing on shifts. Now I am in a Managerial position, it’s the complete opposite – sitting at my desk and using the computer for long hours at a time. There appears to be no reprieve on this one. 🙂

    I do however agree with the ways to avoid the killer sitting disease. I plan to incorporate these more in my daily work life.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Hi Yvonne,

      You know it better because you’ve been in the health profession. It’s not only the long sitting hours but even extended standing hours too are not good. So, anything that goes to extremes is not good, and that could as well be stated as a universal law for almost everything, isn’t it?

      I agree, yours is a special case of dealing with both types of situations, but I’m sure you know how to and what preventive measures to take.

      I’m glad you agree with this post and plan to incorporate the ways to avoid the harmful effects of long sitting in your daily work life schedule.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts and experiences. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  7. donna merrill

    June 4, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Hi Harleena,

    So glad that you addressed this topic. In today’s world, even young children are sitting in front of their computers for hours. I just cannot imagine that!

    As we work on our computers, we need to get up and stretch or move around. Sitting still too long does give us aches and pains. So why not listen to our bodies?

    I didn’t know sitting is now the new disease though. I love your infographics on this topic. I see you have done your homework on this one. And I am sure that this message will hit hard thank goodness.

    I cannot sit too long myself. I take breaks and stretch. I even have small weights in my home office, so when I take a break and look out of my window at the sky, I can do my weights a bit.

    It comes down to the old saying “Use it or loose it” We have to be active otherwise it leads to major health problems.

    Thanks again,

    -Donna

    • Nathaniel Kidd

      June 4, 2014 at 5:39 am

      Hi Harleena,

      I work in the medical field and always encounter many patients that look great on the outside but their bodies are so broken. One of the biggest problems is a lack of exercise. That little bit of movement everyday could add years to your life.

      You are spot on that when we sit for long periods of time our bodies pretty much go into shutdown mode which can be a silent killer if we do this for prolonged periods of time.

      I do thank you for shedding light on this topic.

      • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

        Harleena Singh

        June 4, 2014 at 9:09 am

        Hi Nathaniel,

        Yes, that’s very much the case – it’s not only the obese but even skinny people can suffer from the lack of physical activity. It doesn’t matter how you look from outside, your real fitness is in your flexibility, stamina, agility, and being healthy.

        Definitely, exercise, standing and walking are the life saviors and they help increase our life span too.

        “Shutdown mode” is a nice term to understand and yes that’s what happens. This has an adverse effect on the body and our life.

        Thanks for visiting and sharing your insights on this post. Have a great day ahead! 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Hi Donna,

      Yes, over sitting is one of the main cause of obesity in children, who keep sitting down in front of the TV or computer for the most part of the days. And of course, eating junk food at irregular times adds on to the trouble.

      You’re so right – we need to listen to our bodies. If we feel uncomfortable then we should go for the change to make our life better.

      Well sitting is not yet a diagnostic disease, but scientists and medical experts have given this term to refer to the ills of the sedentary lifestyle, of which sitting is a major aspect.

      I’m glad you like the post and how it was created. It’s good to know that you take good preventive measures to avoid the harmful impact of sitting.

      That’s right, getting active is the only option we’ve got and we all should use it.

      Thanks for your visit and sharing your great thoughts and experiences. I appreciate it a lot. 🙂

  8. Winifred Reilly

    June 4, 2014 at 5:09 am

    Perfect timing! (You’ll see why…)

    In the last few months I have been writing standing at my desk with my computer monitor up on my yoga block and the keyboard on a thin piece of wood. (The economy version of a standing desk!!) Sometimes I need to sit when I’m really concentrating – have to get better at thinking on my feet. 🙂

    My new thing is that I am now starting to stand in my psychotherapy appointments with my patients, sometimes up to 30 minutes of every hour. I just finished seeing a couple where they decided to stand, too.

    All this is very new and will take a lot of adjusting.

    Scary what can happen when we sit!

    Thanks for this reminder, Harleena.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 8:51 am

      Hi Winifred,

      I like your economy version of standing desk! Thanks for sharing it.

      It’s so good to know that you’ve been using it for so long. Oh yes, I agree that you need to sit at times when you’re thinking deep but then I guess this habit varies from person to person.

      It’s a good way to incorporate standing in your work schedule and its great to know that you motivate your patients too to take up to standing.

      I understand the new habits and routine take time to adjust and become a part of our lifestyle. Yes, sitting can be scary.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your views and experiences. I greatly appreciate it. 🙂

  9. Kathy

    June 4, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Hi Harleena!

    This is definitely a huge topic that needs to be talked about, spread around, and reminded over and over. We all know that sitting too long is not good for us but it is still challenging to stay active when you blog or work at a desk most of the day. My husband has taken to standing for about 1/2 the day. He’s better than I am about it–but I am making a STRONG effort to get up at least once an hour and move around. I also walk for 2 miles every day and take the dog for a shorter walk after dinner. We all just have to do as much as we can. Thanks for the great reminder and EXCELLENT graphics! ~Kathy

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 9:00 am

      Hi Kathy,

      I’m glad you agree with me that long stretches of sitting is really a serious problem. Yes, the good word needs to be spread and people be reminded and time and again. This habit is something that is ingrained in our lifestyle and its going to take time and effort to sort it out.

      Its a great resolution your husband has taken and its good that you too are consciously making strong efforts to make your lifestyle more active.

      I’m happy that you like the post and the images too. Thanks for visiting and for sharing your experiences. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  10. lisa thomson

    June 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Great awareness post, Harleena.

    I agree that sitting too much is dangerous. We don’t realize how much time we are spending at our desk especially when we’re absorbed in our writing etc. I find that doing chores always gets me up and away from the desk regularly. Another good thing is while watching t.v. get a yoga mat and do a little stretching and sit ups during commercials. Just sitting on the floor thinking about your posture rather than slumping on the couch (which I love to do) can help.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 9:17 am

      Hi Lisa,

      I’m glad you like the post. I totally agree that we keep sitting for hours continuously when we’re engrossed in our work. But then we face its consequences sometime later, when all effects accumulate and make a stronger impact on the body.

      These are great ideas, and I do get up often to do small chores and think of them as a blessing because they break my long sittings. I haven’t tried exercising while watching TV and its great that you do that.

      It’s not only you, we all love to slouch on the couch, but sitting on the floor could really be great for the posture.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your wonderful ideas and experiences. I greatly appreciate it. 🙂

  11. Faheen

    June 4, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Yeah sitting may cause even worse cases, So Bloggers if your Working for 1 hour Give 15min of breaks this won’t get your site down,Or if you feel something irritated better go out somewhere.

    Sure Harleena is doing a great thing and create awareness among bloggers

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Hi Faheen,

      Yes, frequent breaks in your long sitting schedule are a must.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  12. Balroop Singh

    June 4, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Fantastic! Most relevant topic for modern work styles…I hope the younger generation, which buries its head into laptops and iPads, day and night is listening. Your presentation as usual is very reader friendly, with convincing info graphics.

    I know how bad sitting is as I have experienced both sitting and standing. During examination days, when most of the planning and time-table was being laid out, I had to sit almost whole day at my desk, surrounded by a team, often forgetting about the health aspects. Soon my body started protesting and I learnt the lessons you have listed here. Same is the case with standing, which was the unfortunate part of teaching the senior students, who don’t even let you blink an eyelid!!

    You know excess of everything is bad, whether sitting, standing or even sleeping and eating! All we need is a good balance of all these activities but the modern work centres around computers, which has made sitting into a disease…sometimes it becomes quite difficult for serious and fast workers, who want complete their projects to remember all these guidelines.

    I hope all those who read this will give a serious thought to it. Thanks for sharing! Have a nice week.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Hi Balroop,

      I’m glad you like the post and yes, it will greatly help if this post reaches the youth and they get to read it. This information is crucial to all, and equally to all the hard working adults too.

      You’re absolutely right! Extremes are always bad, and this rule applies to all aspects of our life, isn’t it? Even long periods of standing is not good for health, so somehow you need moderation and a balance between sitting and standing, such that you stand more.

      Well, I feel we can’t blame the computers and we’ve to take accountability and make better lifestyle choices. Yes, typically the Type A personalities would never care and go on about their task, but long sitting down has its toll on the body and that cannot be ignored.

      I hope this post helps people. Thanks for visiting and sharing your great experiences in life. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  13. Ryan Biddulph

    June 4, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Hahaha Harleena….I exercise for 2 hours on some days and take 10 minute breaks each hour to walk around….and hey, you know from my blog how much I travel and move…what is extended sitting anyway? 😉 Great post with an important message. Thanks!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Hi Ryan,

      This post is not applicable for you, so kindly ignore it. 😉

      I know sitting would not be a problem to you because you move around so much. And then the exercises and breaks – you seem to just have the perfect lifestyle!

      It’s the long sitting down hours or periods of time, without breaks. I’m happy that you like the post and its message.

      Thanks for visiting and have a great day ahead! 🙂

  14. Jens-Petter Berget

    June 4, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Great title! It’s very interesting, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I used to exercise a lot, but things stopped after I got kids and started working a lot more than I used to. So, I decided to buy a fitbit and start walking 10.000 steps every single day. I’m tracking my daily steps and it works great. Most days when I get home from work I’ve just walked apx 5000 steps and that’s it. If I hadn’t been using the fitbit I wouldn’t have known. Now I need to get out walking every day after work, just to get more steps.

    -Jens

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Hi Jens,

      Glad you like the title, and that you could relate to the post.

      It’s good to know about your experiences with fitbit. I remember Kumar too mentioning it recently and Matt Cutts also in his recent post. I guess I too need to try it since its so popular and useful.

      I’m glad you’re able to achieve your daily target and this is really a great way of making your lifestyle active. Yet, as mentioned in the post, you need to reduce your sitting because it that extends to 8 or 10 hours, then the walks are not that effective.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your experiments and experiences. I appreciate it. 🙂

  15. mathi

    June 4, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Harleena,
    I just sent the link of your post to my daughter. I always advise her to walk up the stairs rather than go by lift when in work place. Most of us do not know the impact of sedentary lifestyle before it is too late. Eating healthy alone is not enough. Being agile and active is the key to good health. Again the need of the hour post.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Hi Mathi,

      Well yes, taking the stairs is one way to break the sedentary sitting stretch, other ways could be to get up and walk to fetch water, documents, switch off or on something, peep outside window etc. after every half an hour of your sitting work.

      You’re right that eating healthy and walking in the morning or going to the gym is all good but not enough to counter the negative effects of long and continuous sitting.

      I hope your daughter benefits from this post. Thanks for visiting, commenting, and sharing it. Have a great day ahead! 🙂

  16. Dhiraj Das

    June 4, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Trust me, I took 15 mins break after reading your article. Thanks for sharing. It will definitely help me to take some action on my long overdue plan to start regular exercise.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      Hi Dhiraj,

      I’m glad that you did that. Now, make it a habit to do that on a daily basis! 🙂

      It’s good to hear that you’re motivated with this post, so why wait, start from today!

      Thanks for visiting and have a great day ahead.

  17. Tushar Thakur

    June 4, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Nice article Harleena,

    Really really helpful for people like us (Bloggers)

    What tips you follow to stay moving during your blogging work?

    Thanks

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Tushar,

      Well, since I also manage my home and work from home, I’ve plenty of tasks to do and take care of, that I do in regular intervals during my blogging work.

      Some of the tips I follow are – I try to make sure not to sit for more than 30 mins at a stretch, sit on a chair and not the bed or sofa so its easy to move, and not eat on my work desk!

      Hope this helps. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  18. Dr. Diana

    June 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    Thanks for the information. You have opened my eyes. Now, I will go for a walk daily. Sitting is killing its right quote. I am agree with you. I want to reduce my weight.

    ~Diana

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Hi Diana,

      I’m glad that this post has helped you take a resolution. I’m sure walks and exercise will help you, but also make sure to stand and walk in regular intervals during your sitting work hours.

      Thanks for your visit. 🙂

  19. Kaustav Banerjee

    June 4, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    I had absolutely no idea about this! I feel like running and jumping around. I am basically sitting for 2/3 of the day. How do I change this and smoke some lesser cigarettes?
    I have no idea. Anyways, thanks for the great information

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      Hi Kaustav,

      I’m glad that now you’ve an idea about how risky sitting down for long periods on a regular basis is.

      Well, I’ve mentioned the simple ways to change your sedentary lifestyle in the post – get moving, stand up more, walk around your desk or office etc. I hope this help.

      Thanks for your visit and have a great day ahead! 🙂

  20. Mikestephans

    June 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is my first visit on your blog and really I’m very impressed!!! 🙂
    Wonderful article indeed, along with it it’s a awareness message for all of us and specially for me because i spend lot of time on my PC and have no much time that i can give to other things. i would like thanks to you for sharing this informative and helpful article, I found this article very useful and helpful to get rid from sitting disease and yup i think sitting is a kind of addiction and we connot easily get rid from it, all the ways that you have mentioned above seems very helpful for us. I liked your way of presentation and also the infographic.
    Thanks for sahring.
    Keep posting.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Mike,

      I’m glad you like the blog and the post.

      I hope from now on you’ll keep spending your time on your PC but also keep taking frequent breaks and indulge in stretching, standing, and walking.

      You’re right – sitting is an addiction and you can gradually get over this habit and adjust to a new routine with systematic planning and willful understanding.

      Thanks for visiting and have a great day ahead. 🙂

  21. Erik Emanuelli

    June 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    What a topic, Harleena.

    I’ve heard about this on National Geographic. Pretty hot subject in these years.

    From my side, I go to gym twice a week and I do jogging 2-3 times a week. Since 2 months already, I started to learn skydiving. So twice a month, each weekend, I make a couple of +13000 feet jump in free fall, then I enjoy a safe landing with my parachute (go to my YouTube channel for the videos). 😉 I guess it counts as exercise!

    So I am doing my best to stay in good shape. While working at computer, I need to make breaks more frequently.

    Thank you so much for this article, very interesting!

    Have a great week, Harleena. 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Hi Erik,

      I’m glad you like the topic. The sitting is killing buzz is around for the last 5-6 years, but its reached its peak now with the increase in the participation of people in computer activities.

      You’re just doing great – gym, jogging, skydiving, and all – that’s just great. I’m sure you can count skydiving as an exercise.

      But as you realize, what you need to break your sedentary sitting work style is to take more frequent breaks and stretch, stand, and walk more. That simple. 🙂

      I’d surely watch your skydiving video, I bet that’s very exciting and adventurous!

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your experiences. I really appreciate it. 🙂

  22. Mi Muba

    June 4, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Harleena Singh

    All the points related to our health due to constant sittings are eye opener and we must take care of our health before it’s too late. I see this issue from social, financial and gender aspects and elaborate my points as below.

    SOCIAL ASPECT
    We are already associated with a profession that has yet to make its identity in our society especially in eastern or less developed one. Here people do understand money can be earned with internet but they even don’t have basic idea of blogging.

    In such an environment if we put a computer table and then a standing table and after that move around for while after every half an hour people will take us mad. But we have to do this because if we give importance to what people think about us obviously someday people would be expressing sympathy with our bended or unfit physique.

    That is why you are absolutely right sitting is killing more than smoking because people don’t make much objection on one’s smoking but if we try to relieve ourselves with short breaks while doing any table work we may face more opposition or ridicule from our housemates and colleagues both.

    FINANCIAL ASPECT
    This is a little bitter. Those who do blogging as hobby need not to sit for lengthy hours and they just enjoy it and do it as and when they have time. They even do blogging while moving around with their handy gadgets. They don’t have to type much or write much they just express their ideas and feelings in small type of posts and get huge response from people who are equally doing blogging as fun or hobby.

    But the real test is of those who want to make it their partial or main source of income. They have to achieve quantified targets. They have to write long posts. They have to submit their posts in hundreds of forums, directories, social media and bookmarking sites. If they do part time blogging then the test gets tougher and they don’t want to waste time of ten minutes break after every one hour sitting.

    But here again the golden rule of “health is wealth” comes true. If they don’t have health how come they earn more wealth? So all bloggers who want to make their full time living with blogging need to keep this aspect in mind and do spare some moments to relax themselves.

    GENDER ASPECT
    In eastern or conservative societies male bloggers have lot of space to move around outside home, join outdoor activities and even they can make a brisk walk in the street outside their home. But female bloggers especially housewives don’t have this much liberty to move around. They have to spare time; they have to first finish their household chores then they can go out. But mom bloggers must remember that they are doing blogging for their well being and for the well being of their family. If they ignore this important aspect how come they do something good for their family? So they at least can follow the advice of Matt Cuts and buy a treadmill to take care of their health.

    Thanks a lot Harleena for writing on such an important topic with such a detail that must have opened the eyes of several bloggers who don’t give much importance to their health

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Hi Mi Muba,

      Wow, this is a mini-post within my own post. For a change, I won’t write a reply with a post-like comment. 🙂

      Social aspect:

      Well, I’d say if you’re having a standing desk at your home, then you’re free to do what you like, isn’t it? Probably you can tell such people that what you do is a very technical and special job that requires you to keep fit and active.

      Just like the formula one race car drivers – though it appears that they just sit and drive, they undergo strict fitness regimen because to keep your mind alert, focused, and active, you first need to keep your body fit and healthy. So if you tell your friends that what you do requires you to be alert and focused always and give this reasoning, they might buy it and commend you for your standing work style! Try it. 🙂

      I think you should be clear on this thing – its your health and its only your decisions and actions that matters. It could also happen that people will start copying you and you’ll become a pioneer for your work style in your area. 🙂

      Financial aspect:

      If you don’t spare 10 minutes, you might’ve to spend 10 weeks in a hospital or in a sick state due to the consequences of long sitting down on a regular basis without breaks. So, it’s a choice that you’ve to make by having a vision or farsightedness.

      That’s right – health is wealth, and you can make more and more wealth, if you’ve health. So, to better your financial status, you need to better your working style and lifestyle.

      Gender aspect:

      Well, again this may not apply to all eastern countries, because where I live, women/females have all the freedom and they live and work at an equal footing with men.

      Now, since this post only talks of taking frequent breaks from your long sitting, this can be done indoors and in your own very small room or office. So, I don’t see any problem for women to stand and stretch even in the strictest and male-dominated societies of the world.

      But yes, treadmill desk is a good idea and it’s good to have those who can afford it.

      Thanks for your mega comment and it surely adds great value to this post. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts, I really appreciate it. 🙂

  23. June

    June 4, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Wow Harleena! This article is a wake up call.

    I had no idea that sitting for long periods was related to so many health issues. It probably explains why my blood pressure is raised and I’ve put on weight since I left teaching to become a freelance writer. I spend hours in front of the computer.

    It’s scary. And I need to take action now. I’ve just lost a friend to cancer so I know how important it is to take care of our health.

    I was only talking to my daughter this morning about exercising each day. Your article has made my decision more pressing.

    Thanks for sharing this. We needed to hear it.

    Have a great day. 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      Hi June,

      I honestly wanted to make it an awareness post, but it turned into an alarming post, lol. But yes, its indeed a wake up call to the ignorant as well as the wise, because we develop a casual attitude towards sitting and gradually forget what all scary things it can do to us.

      Increased blood pressure, insomnia, jammed joints, painful muscles, itchy eyes, increased weight, abnormal appetite and what not could all be the indications and symptoms of the starting of a sitting disease. Though there can be various other reasons too so its better not to jump to conclusions and seek a professional’s advice.

      I’m glad my post could motivate you and I too would support your decision to start your daily exercising, and probably that could also give you new ideas for your blog posts!

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your personal experiences. I greatly appreciate it. 🙂

  24. Lisa Buben

    June 4, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Harleena, I agree with Brenda – I did not know it’s that bad. I must remember to get up and walk around at work. I sit for hours especially on our deadline days.
    I’d love one of those office standing desks, I think that would help many of us out. I hope in the future offices start to furnish with that type of equipment.
    Thanks for sharing Harleena and have a healthy rest of the week!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      I’m glad this post could give you something to think and work on to make your life better.

      I’ve given a link to Yaro’s post where he talks all about the stand up desks, and probably that could give you a head start into looking for your kind of a standing desk.

      I’m sure the future offices will cater to advanced health care especially for those who work for long sitting hours.

      Thanks for visiting and have a great day ahead! 🙂

  25. Tope Fabusola

    June 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    That was why I mentioned the ‘walking office’ in the post by Emmanuel of Kabenlah. The problem with long use of computers is mainly inactivity.

    However, when you are working on a treadmill with an office desk-top, with your gadgets well placed, it not only turns out to be productive career-wise, but also health-wise.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm

      Hi Tope,

      You’re right – this post is all about turning inactivity into activity, sedentary work style into an active work style. The computer gets our mind and fingers working while the rest of the body goes into the lazy mode.

      So, your idea of a treadmill desk is great and that can make both the body and mind equally active.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. Have a great day ahead! 🙂

  26. Preeti Kaur

    June 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Woah! It is a huge wake up call to all of us who spends most of the time sitting.. And I am sure there are a lot of us who do that everyday and never even give a second to think what it could do our health…

    I am going to start taking breaks to stand every 2 hours now and I will work my way from there. Because I dont want to create unrealistic target for myself of doing it every hour ( I am very lazy like that!).

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Hi Preeti,

      I’m glad this post could motivate you to take action and make your lifestyle more active. Yes, you’re right, your targets should be realistic else it could prove to be counterproductive. You can always refine and advance your targets gradually to achieve your ultimate aim. If you’ve taken a resolution, then you’re not lazy at all. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your breaks!

  27. Corina Ramos

    June 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    A very informative post Harleena. Thank for you sharing this important topic with us.

    I knew prolonged sitting would cause a slow metabolism and back pain but I didn’t think it was this bad.

    I do have a habit of sitting for hours at a time and I sometimes ignore my body when it’s ready for a break. But after reading this, I am definitely going to make it a point to take more frequent and longer breaks.

    I would love to have a treadmill desk. I have a treadmill now if only I can get the hubs to make me a platform I can lay my laptop on, I’m in business :).

    Here’s to a healthier us! I hope you’re having a wonderful week!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Hi Corina,

      I’m glad you like the post.

      Well, your prolonged sitting isn’t going to harm you that way if its occasional. It’s only when that inactive lifestyle becomes regular and a daily affair that you need to worry about.

      I’m happy to know that you’ll be taking frequent breaks now on and won’t deny the rights and needs of your body!

      I’m sure you can search and find out the economical and DIY ways to convert your treadmill into a treadmill desk. That’ll be great and I’ll wait for your post that you’ll write about your treadmill desk on your treadmill desk. 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your personal experiences, and wish you a healthy day ahead! 🙂

  28. Ed

    June 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Harleena, I’m a new subscriber to your blog!

    As someone who used to do research on health and nutrition, I find myself continually frustrated by the amount of false health information on the internet. So imagine my surprise when I saw your post this morning. This is a REALLY well researched article with lots of factual information!!! Your post is a breath of fresh air compared to what one normally finds on the internet. Well done! I’ve shared your article on facebook so my friends and family can also see this information.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Welcome to my blog Ed,

      This is a great compliment from someone who’s an expert on health and nutrition research.

      Yes, I did research a lot for this post, as I do for my other posts that are of such nature.

      I’m glad you liked the post and thanks for sharing it with your friends and family.

      Thanks for visiting and hope to see you around! 🙂

  29. Swadhin Agrawal

    June 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Wow maam what a post.!

    This is what comes to mind at the first place. I am really really inspired …how clearly and precisely you have written. This topic is explained in a so detailed manner. Wish I become as good a writer as you are (someday) 🙂

    I really love your way of putting small infographics. They are awesome. Did you create the first one.?

    Coming to the topic you will be surprised I am able to relate to this topic too and that has a funny part too. My friends used to tease me that after education you are gonna have a pot belly because you will sit in the shop just as other marwadis do (no hard feeling for anyone ). This would scare me and i would say no I will exercise . But never cared to know how dangerous sitting always is. Your post has become an eye opener and i will do something about standing at regular intervals. Yes I had read about Matt Cutts’ challenge on his blog where he wrote he has monthly challenges right?

    I have read many western bloggers interviews( including Yaro sir’s here at Aha!Now ) and yes they prefer standing to sitting. Hope I can do something about sitting .

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm

      Hi Swadhin,

      I’m glad you like the post, could relate to it and find it inspiring.

      Of course you too can become a good writer, just follow the tips that I’ve mentioned in the posts related to writing on this very blog. 🙂

      I was wondering how the readers will react to the multiple graphics in the post, and I’m happy that they’ve take that well. Yes, the first graphic is just a Google Search screenshot.

      It’s good to hear that you’ll be taking proactive steps to have an active lifestyle being motivated by this post. Yes, I gave a link to that post of Matt Cutts.

      You can have an economical make-do solution at home to create a standing desk for your laptop. I’m sure you’ll find many DIY ways if you search on the net.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts and experiences. 🙂

  30. Sheryl Kurland

    June 4, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    I have been worried recently about how much I sit, long hours at my computer and desk. I got off my butt though and walk about 3 miles per day. What a difference! I appreciate all of the medical facts you shared because even though I knew sitting so much was bad, it’s now staring me in the face!!! Thanks, Harleena.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      Hi Sheryl,

      You can use the link to the “sitting time calculator” that I’ve given in this post to find about how much you sit.

      Walking 3 miles a day is great. But what is more important is that you take frequent breaks while you’re sitting down at work, and don’t make that a long and continuous sitting thinking that you’ve counter balanced it with your morning or evening walks.

      I’m glad this post could raise awareness, which is all that I wanted.

      Thanks for your visit and have a great day ahead! 🙂

  31. Susie

    June 4, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    I have a question please (apologies if it’s a bit ignorant!). Is lying down better than sitting? This article made me realize I spend a lot of time sitting for classes, studying, watching tv, relaxing, reading… of course I can’t lie down for everything, but I was wondering if it would be better for me to study lying on a couch, for instance? Or is standing up much superior?

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      Welcome to my blog Susie,

      I don’t consider any question as ignorant or useless, so please feel free to ask any question any time. 🙂

      First, let’s understand that sitting is not bad.

      It’s only the sitting for long hours without any break of physical activity practiced on a regular basis that is bad in terms of the ill effects it produces and sedentary lifestyle that it promotes, which turns the body into a hub of lifestyle diseases.

      Secondly, the various solution recommended in the post mainly serve the purpose of increasing the metabolism of the body, which gets slow with the sedentary lifestyle.

      If you can keep up the body metabolism even while lying and sitting, so neither are bad. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should not indulge in any physical activity – you should if you can, as that’s good for your bones and muscles, spine and body organs too.

      You don’t have to lie down as an alternative to sitting, but employ other strategies while sitting to not make it sedentary.

      In one of the comments, Donna mentioned that she does her Yoga while watching TV, during the commercial breaks. You can also keep doing the stretching exercises while sitting, reading, studying, or do that when you take a break. Sitting is good if you do it in small stretches of time followed by an activity break.

      If you prefer to stand, that’s any way better, but you don’t have to go to extremes to stand all day. It could be counterproductive and turn out to be injurious. So, you can have a mix of sitting, lying, standing, and walking, the point is to keep up the body metabolism rate good enough that is conducive to a healthily lifestyle, and feel active and healthy too.

      I hope I’ve been able to help you with your query, and if you’ve any more questions or doubts, please feel free to ask.

      Thanks for visiting and hope to see you around! 🙂

  32. Gautam Sehgal

    June 4, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Oh my god, first of all i need to say you thanks a ton, for sharing this article with all the bloggers… This is really a shock, though i was aware that too much sitting is going to harm me, but never knew that the level impact would be so so much…. well due to obvious reasons we can not change our lifestyle but will rite away start working on the precautions.

    Thanks again

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 4, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      Welcome to my blog Gautam,

      I’m glad that this post could help you realize the ills of sitting for long hours and the important of having frequent breaks in between.

      You may not change your job or the nature of your work, but you need to practice new habits on a regular basis to promote physical activity, and that is changing of your work style or lifestyle.

      It’s good to know that this post has motivated you to take proactive steps to avoid the sitting disease.

      Thanks for visiting and hope to see you around. 🙂

  33. Debbie

    June 4, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Great information Harleena.

    Guess I am doing good, because I always take those breaks. And it helps having a house that has 2 floors and my work office is on the top floor. So I even do a lot of up and down with the stairs.

    I do worry about kids these days with as much time some of them are allowed to use a technical devices. It is very important that we always stay on the move. My hubby calls me the energizing bunny because I am always jumping up to do something.

    After this information I am going to keep it up. This is a wonderful post to share with everyone, thank you for your wisdom once again Harleena.
    Debbie

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      I’m glad you like the post.

      It’s great that you’re already practicing all that’s needed to keep the sitting disease at bay. Yes, the frequent up and down definitely keeps the movement going, but don’t you feel weary?

      Yes, the rising numbers of obese children and even the prevalence of use of electronic communication and entertainment devices that promote inactivity is really serious and alarming.

      Definitely you’re going to keep being on the move because that’s become a good habit of yours, and like you, we all need to cultivate such good habits.

      Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Enjoy the Sunday! 🙂

  34. Himanshu

    June 5, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Hello Harleena,

    You just wrote another article which every internet marketer or blogger want to read… Sitting is really a bad habit.. Everyday,my neck and back gaining pain due to sitting for more hours.. I have consulted with my family doctor, he told me to do take rest between work life..

    I have started taking a rest while working and it’s really works… I will surly try your tips to cure this disease..

    Hats off to you for writing such a great article 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Himanshu,

      You’ve got it right – sitting down for long periods is a bad habit, and you can change that habit to resolve some of your health problems and lead a happy life.

      You’re doing great by taking rest while working, but it’s also important to “move” in between your long sitting hours.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and experiences. 🙂

  35. Sunday

    June 5, 2014 at 12:43 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I could not agree with you more! Yes, sitting is the new smoking. I have had my fair share of consequences of sitting for a long time.

    Thankfully, it didn’t degenerate into heart diseases – that is scary! 😉 I have better control of my lifestyle and the overly sedentary lifestyle is highly limited.

    This article is timely because a lot of bloggers/writers do sit for a long period of time. I hope as many as have stumbled upon this post will avoid prolonged sitting and embrace healthier lifestyle!

    In kingged.com, this article was shared for Internet marketers, and I have left the above comment after reading the post.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Hi Sunday,

      That’s right – long sitting down periods without breaks contributes to sedentary lifestyle, which has unpleasant consequences.

      I also hope this post helps the readers and bloggers specifically.

      Thanks for visiting, commenting, and sharing, I appreciate it. 🙂

  36. Christy Garrett

    June 5, 2014 at 1:19 am

    This is great infromation.

    I know that sitting long periods of time makes my tail bone hurt like no other. I have back problems which keeps me from being as active as I would like to be. It has been a rough transition for me because I was fairly active before my pain became disabling. I also have to lay down frequently to take the pressure off my back.

    If you have a desk job, ask your company if they can invest in a way for you to be able to stand up or even walk while you are doing your job. It not only keeps you from sitting too long but if you can walk while your working it will help burn lots of calories.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Hi Christy,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences of sitting down for long periods. The back problem can become really serious and chronic due to either long sitting or your poor posture of sitting.

      Yes, a stand up desk would definitely be a comfortable working solution for many.

      Thanks for visiting and adding value to the post. Enjoy your Sunday! 🙂

  37. Kelli

    June 5, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Hey Harleena
    This was a very eye opening post to say the least. We have always known being inactive is bad for us, but I don’t think it has been until recently that we are fully starting to realize all the changes that happen in the body due to lack of physical activity. And they are all really dangerous. I definitely sit a lot because of my work, and I exercise regularly but will be more cognizant of moving around more throughout the day.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Kelli,

      Definitely, lack of physical activity leads to more troubles than we ever imagined.

      That’s the key – moving throughout the day, in between your sitting hours to break the continuity, enable blood circulation, and increase the body metabolism.

      Thanks for your visit and sharing your thoughts. Have a great week ahead! 🙂

  38. Troy S.

    June 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

    So many people are saying sugary foods make people fat. I disagree and one of my favorite sayings is “Sugary treats do not make you fat. Sitting on your but makes you fat.”

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      Hi Troy,

      Well I’d not disagree with the claim that sugary food make people fat, but that is conditional, and the condition is that you spend more calories by moving and working out more, else it can make you fat.

      So, eventually, you’re right – sitting down for long periods without breaks on a regular basis could make you fat, even if you don’t eat sugary food!

      Thanks for your sharing views. 🙂

  39. Lorraine Reguly

    June 5, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I sit a lot. Of course, I also have a bad leg due to almost losing it about 9.5 years ago and undergoing 2 operations on it. I also smoke. Yes, I’m killing myself faster than most. I know.

    I didn’t realize I was so diseased!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Lorraine,

      You always have a choice. Only you know the reasons why you make a choice when you know its not a good one. These are just habits, and you can always change them, if and when you will it from within. I do wish and hope that you have a healthy future.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your experiences. Enjoy your Sunday! 🙂

  40. Ciara Ballintyne

    June 5, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    This post was too long – only halfway through I wanted to scream ‘Just get to the point!’.

    At the end of it, I’m still unclear if sitting is intrinsically bad or is bad because it increases the risk of obesity (to which a number of other things also contribute, like bad food, pregnancy, and kids).

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      Welcome to my blog Ciara,

      Oh my dear, I don’t know how you’re going to feel when you read my other posts, which are way longer than this one. 🙂

      Well, the point is that sitting is not bad, but sitting down for long periods without breaks on a regular basis is bad because it makes your life inactive and the lack of physical activity results in a sedentary lifestyle, and thus increases the chances of you succumbing to the lifestyle diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic back pain etc.

      All these diseases can also have other reasons than sitting. And sitting has various other ill consequences, which I might discuss in a future post.

      I hope this helps and thank you for your visit. Hope to see you around. 🙂

  41. SmithLopez

    June 5, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Really excellent article!!!

    I am agree with your views this is a really very informative for that sitting for a long time is harmful for us. it causes lots of problems. I found your article very helpful and useful for me.

    Thanks for sharing have nice day

    Keep posting 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Hi Smith,

      I’m glad you like the article and found it useful.

      Thanks for visiting and have a nice day! 🙂

  42. Neamat Tawadrous

    June 6, 2014 at 5:18 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Wow Harleena, I knew that sitting is bad and not healthy but I never knew it is that bad and is in fact a disease. I admit I started sitting down a lot since I started my online business from about 2 years ago and I can see already some of the side effects you already mentioned and a huge one for me is the weight gain. OMG, that’s really scary. I will definitely do something about it and start to take some breaks for walking and stretching.

    Thanks Harleena for the warning and for raising the awareness on such an important topic. Have yourself a great rest of the week.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Neamat,

      Well, no – sitting is not a disease. In fact, sitting disease is a term given to the ill effects and harmful consequences of overly sedentary lifestyle.

      Yes, sitting down for long periods without breaks on a regular basis is bad and not healthy. You’ve got the point – you need to take breaks in between your sitting hours and indulge in some kind of physical activity.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts and experiences to add value to the post. 🙂

  43. Daniel

    June 6, 2014 at 5:48 am

    I can’t believe i was actually blind to this, i have never read this before that sitting is harmful. Thanks for the info.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      I’d like to make it clear that it’s the sitting for long hours without breaks and on a regular basis that may turn out to be harmful – not just sitting.

      Thanks for your visit and hope to see you around. 🙂

  44. Susan Boston

    June 6, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Hi Harleena,

    This is an excellent and useful post. I honestly don’t think most people realize what they are doing to them self when they sit for extended periods at a time.

    I hope many will heed your advise and use the wisdom you have given them.

    Again excellent post.

    Susan Boston

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Welcome to my blog Susan,

      You’re right – sitting down for long periods have become a part of our lifestyle and we treat it as normal. We need to create a new normal.

      I’m glad you like the post and I hope it helps people.

      Thanks for your visit and hope to see you around. 🙂

  45. Steven Wilson

    June 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Hey Harleena,

    I have learned of this about a year ago and it is really shocking for sure. You think that getting in that gym time a few times a week is doing your body good but when you think about it makes complete sense. You’re sitting down for 10+ hours everyday and may work out for an hour several times a week. Our bodies are actually made more consent movement with breaks in between not the other way around.

    Thanks for making us aware of this issue Harleena!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Steven,

      That’s right – frequent breaks for physical activity are essential, and that has no relation to your workout at one time of the day, if you sit for long hours on a regular basis.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your views. 🙂

  46. Babanature

    June 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Hello Harleena,
    Long time no see :). I got stuck trying to fix a big part of my blog, but thank God, the issue have been resolved. Now back to the topic.

    Okay, most of my time is spent on sitting down… but i do spend 2 hours at the gym though. So i feel healthy because i do check up every month (or so).
    Really, i never knew that sitting down for a longer period is bad for our health. To keep me more healthy, i need to start implementing the rule of not sitting down for long. But seriously, will that be possible as a blogger?

    Thanks for the lovely post and for showing us something we did not know before 🙂 . Have a blessed weekend

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Babanature,

      Nice to have you back! I’m glad your blog problem is resolved.

      Going to gym and working out for 2 hours is great. That for sure must make you feel healthy. But if you do sit for long periods, you need to take frequent “activity” breaks also.

      Of course it is absolutely possible for bloggers too. You need to force yourself and later develop a habit to frequently get up or stand up and walk, either to do a task, like switch on or off something, fetch a bottle of water, or get some fresh air outside etc. Or even, play some music and dance or exercise!

      Thanks for visiting and I’m glad that this gave you some food for new thought. 🙂

  47. Olamosh

    June 6, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    wow! Madam Harleena,

    This article really get me scared. Am guilty of all the sitting condition stated here. Am addicted to my computer & internet. All my daily activities are on the computer & internet, infact sometimes i don’t go to the office cos am not physically needed.

    To be sincere am scared of my health right now, i need to reduce the hours i spend in sitting.

    Am on the other side Glad because you share this wonderful and educative article with us, it will really go along way in preventing people like me from heart disease and other -ve effect of long sitting.

    After reading this article post, i now agree with you that “SITTING IS A KILLER DISEASE AND A NEW SMOKING”. When 1hour of sitting = 2 cigarette, WHAT ELSE?

    This is the right time to adjust, thanks and have a nice day

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Olamosh,

      I didn’t really mean to scare you, but yes the intention was to alarm you and make you become more aware.

      You can continue doing what you’re doing, though it would really help if you reduce your sitting hours if they are really getting too much, but just make sure to have “physical activity” breaks in between.

      I’m glad you found this article to be helpful and useful. Well 1 hour of sitting and 2 cigarettes is more of a symbolic comparison, but yes, long sitting down without breaks on a regular basis may really harm you.

      Thanks for visiting and have a great week ahead! 🙂

  48. Michelle Christopher

    June 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I am emailing this to my husband. He has a desk job now and sits a lot. I’ve been trying to get him moving but to no avail just yet. Hopefully this will inspire him to get moving. I would like to link back to this post because I feel it is important. Check out my link up party. I would love to add your blog to the links.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      Welcome to my blog Michelle,

      Thanks for sharing this post with your husband. I hope it helps him.

      Thanks for linking back to this post. Though I do not participate in mutual linking activities, but you’re free to add my blog if you want.

      Thanks for visiting and hope to see you around. 🙂

  49. Adrienne

    June 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Hey Harleena,

    I’m sorry but I’m just not buying that. My reasoning is because my entire working career I was in the secretarial field and the majority of my day was sitting at my desk. I got up for restroom breaks and a good bit of the time I even ate lunch at my desk. I almost always worked over and I have no health problems whatsoever and I’m over 50 years old.

    I honestly believe that it’s different things that pile up that can cause issues like sitting all day and eating then you’re going to have problems, get lazy and end up with some major health problems. Sitting alone I do not believe what is being shared here because I’m living proof.

    Working at home and being on this computer all darn day does get tiring. I’ve been through five chairs now and it can cause issues with your back if you aren’t in the right chair day in and day out. I get up three times a day to take the dog out, I go next door to eat lunch and dinner with my Mom all still while sitting and I walk everyday. I’m not getting up every 15 minutes and I never have.

    I can see where never getting out of the chair and just being lazy can cause health issues but let’s be honest, it can’t compare to smoking.

    That’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it! 😉

    ~Adrienne

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      June 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      Thanks for sharing your opinion and I mostly agree with it.

      Firstly, sitting cannot be literally compared to smoking, and I think I cleared that up in the post itself. There are a few things common between sitting and smoking – both are addictive and can have ill consequences that could result in death too.

      Now, when I talk about the health hazards of smoking, most people give me the example of Winston Churchill, who was a chain smoker and lived up to the age of 90, or draw up similar examples about people who are regular smokers to counter the argument that cigarette smoking is not harmful and cannot cause death.

      But the fact is that the physical constitution of every person is different and some people can endure, or their body can bear the consequences more than the others. However, we also see many people suffering from T.B. and Cancer due to smoking, and this fact has been scientifically correlated.

      Lots of scientific research and studies are also being conducted that relates sitting down for long hours without taking breaks on a regular basis with an overly sedentary lifestyle, which can have ill consequences. I’m glad that such a lifestyle hasn’t affected you in a negative manner, and there may be many other people who like you, have not suffered at all. But there are many people who’ve succumbed to the harmful consequences arising due to the complications generated out of the lack of physical activity.

      So, you’re right that sitting alone is not the reason – it’s sitting down for long periods without having any breaks on a regular basis that takes the toll on majority of people, if not all. And it also depends on your sitting style – if you knowingly or unknowingly frequently make body movements, stretch out your hands and legs, then it does you good. The common problems that people face are restriction of blood circulation in legs, deposition of cholesterol (depends on many other conditions too) in arteries, lower than required rate of body metabolism, problems of fluid retention in the body due to lack of movement, back injury and spine disk problems, and so on.

      The serious problems resulting indirectly from long sitting are heart disease, stroke, diabetes and these all are the sedentary lifestyle diseases. In fact, sitting disease is not a disease, but a term given for the ill effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.

      But if you observe your work-style, it’s not that you used to sit for long hours without any breaks, and its not necessary to have a break every 15 mins either. This interval in between your sitting hours depends on your body needs, and you can make it half an hour, one hour or two hours – whatever makes you feel comfortable and healthy. Your habits and schedule worked for you, but its not necessary that it might work for someone else too.

      I’ve in fact observed a few of the above mentioned problems due to long sitting hours happen to a few of my relatives. But “sitting down” alone doesn’t cause death or grave diseases – it just facilitates that and acts as a catalyst.

      I may come up with a follow up post some time in the future where I’ll explain the symptoms and consequences of sitting down in detail.

      Thanks for sharing your views with us. Your comment has really contributed to this post and I really appreciate it. 🙂

  50. Philip Varghese Ariel

    June 6, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    This is indeed a shocking report 🙂

    Though I heard about long sitting is dangerous, but I never thought that this much dangers involved in it!! This post is an eye opener to people like me, who sit and work almost 8 hours in Office and after one or two hours gap back to square one at home and continues the same, that some times may even go beyond 8 hours 🙂 I am sure that accumulate all those unwanted stuff mentioned in this post and the life span is reduced than we expect! that calculation given here itself is a shocking one I mean the infographics here.

    Harleena i tried some time back, a kind of adjustment with my desktop computer to use while standing, since I was facing some problem back pain. but that i could not continue for long and I stopped that method. And now to tell you the truth, I again made some adjustment with my desktop computer and I read all this page while standing and I am now typing this comment while standing. 🙂

    Harleena I am really bit terrified after reading all the text here and carefully going thru the infographics. Indeed a kind of panic spread all over! and of course I don’t want to leave my writing career because of this, but instead I think we can overcome by following some of the steps, solutions mentioned here. Anyways thank you so much for the timely alert!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I am sure most of your readers will take this alert as a serious one!! What a great ALERT for all of us!!

    Thank you so much.
    May you have a healthy days, week month and year ahead 🙂
    Keep informed
    Best

    ~ Phil
    Hey Harleena I am here via kingged.com and I kingged it there and I posted this comment there too.
    A great feeling with the new developments, now I want to know how long I can stand and work LOL 🙂

  51. Philip Varghese Ariel

    June 6, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Harleena,
    I forgot to add one more thing and to ask an interesting question in this regard 🙂

    A great feeling with the new developments (I mean the standing position) now I want to know how long I can stand and work LOL 🙂
    Will that give any other side effects 🙂
    Best
    Phil

  52. Jennifer Kennedy

    June 6, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    This is so depressing! 🙁 However, it’s important information to know. I read an article a few months back about this same information.

    I’m one of those people who sit for 10 hours a day! 8 hours at work and an hour commute each direction.

    I try to alleviate the amount of sitting I do by doing a few things:

    1. Getting up frequently and moving around.
    2. Daily Exercising. (Tonight, I’m taking Zumba!)
    3. Indirectly, I’m trying to start an online business. This will allow me to set my own work time and control when and how much I sit.
    4. Making sure I eat healthy foods!

    Thanks for this reminder. It’s so easy to fall into habits. And, it’s even easier to not take care of yourself especially if you cannot immediately see or feel a problem in your body! This is such a good wake up call. Thanks, Harleena!

  53. Ahsan

    June 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Hello Harleena Singh,

    As you mentioned I never think it deeply. Yes sitting certainly the killer if we sit for long time & the disease mentioned is just move us to grave.

    I think its time for everyone to think about it. In job, we pass 8-10 hours sitting condition which is common scenario. We must realize its harmful long time effect.

    Anyway we don’t want to lose any human being with such terrible disease.

    Have a safe weekend 🙂

  54. Ilka

    June 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Harleena!

    I honestly thought that a walk every day or an Hour in the Gym is enough. I don’t get up every 15 minutes to be honest. I couldn’t focus on writing that way.

    But I do see that the all in all fitness is going down sitting a lot. I guess I try running up and down the stairs a little more and walk with my papers while proof reading 🙂

  55. Lea Bullen

    June 8, 2014 at 1:48 am

    I knew sitting was not the healthiest but I didn’t realize it was that bad. But it does make perfect sense.

    That cartoon with the man at the desk with the expanding waistline, I’ve seen that happen many of times in difference offices. People even joke about it and call it the (company name) ten.

    I would love to get up and move around more frequently but I’d have to find a way to do that and still be productive. You know, without disrupting my work flow.

    ~Lea

  56. Chery Schmidt

    June 9, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Hello Harleena,

    Yikes sitting has been termed a disease. I am getting out my ball tonight and I am also going to rig up some sort of a standing desk.. OMG I have packed on some weight over the winter, enough of this sitting WOWSY!!

    You have opened my eyes with all of your photographs above.. Chery :))

    P.S. I did land here tonight Via Kingged

  57. Nanda Rahmanius

    June 9, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Awesome information, indeed!
    I have realized that sitting for too long is not good, but this article discuss it in great detail. For me, providing regular time for exercise is my way to reduce the ill effects of sitting.

    Thanks for sharing this informative article, Harleena.
    It seems I also have to be more careful from now on. 🙂

    Nanda

  58. Addison Grey

    June 9, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    You have posted amazing information. Sitting is bad for the health i know about this, but after reading your concept i feel its very dangerous for health. I am almost my time spending in sitting condition. Its very dangerous for me and also for other people whose working long time i sitting position. In future definitely am changing my schedule.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Keep it up 🙂

  59. Sebastian Aiden Daniels

    June 15, 2014 at 1:14 am

    I agree that sitting is dangerous and that it is becoming toxic in today’s world where we are always glued to a screen. I think a good way to combat it for bloggers is to get a stationary work bike. It has a table that you can place your laptop on and you can just bike while you do your work. It is perfect : D.

  60. Ana Hoffman

    June 25, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I knew there was a good reason to get coffee every 15 minutes… lol

    Great piece, Harleena; I don’t know a single person online who doesn’t need to know/do this.

  61. RcikSoordhar

    July 1, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Hey Harleena,
    Thanks for posting an amazing article and warn us about dangerous effects of sitting, wondering for your next blog that contain how we can recover from it if we have a all day sitting job??

  62. Mayura De Silva

    July 3, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    As you know, I’ve been away from blogging for a few months. Landed on your blog today and scanned through the posts I’ve missed. This topic caught my attention implying a red alert 🙂

    If I’m so serious, l should ditch my computer and follow the lifestyle I had in my break I guess. Walk, cycle, climb, exercise and don’t even think about sitting for hours. Usually I do sit around 8 – 10 hours each day when I work or blog.

    I was concerned about my health more than I used to since last year and made some lifestyle changes, including taking more breaks, low / high intensive exercises and maintaining the posture. I feel much refreshed and energized, and less cravings now. However didn’t think about less sitting and more standing / walking though.

    Practically, standing up for every 15 minutes is very challenging. Isn’t it? Hmm… Exercise ball is a good suggestion, but may not possible for some time here. I have a notifier set up to notify me every hour to take a break and stretch my neck / legs etc. though I’m not suffering from any pain but sometimes I ignore that ’cause if I take that break, I have to spend more time to be focused again. Whether it’s writing, coding or troubleshooting a problem. No problem with gaming as I can pause it.

    Did you find most practical advises on enforcing ourselves to sit less, Harleena? 🙂 I’d love to know and follow. In the meantime I’ll follow what’s capable and already been depicted in your post. Glad I’ve already took some action. This is indeed a red alert for most of the workforce I believe.

    Plus, as our generations used to sit more, isn’t there any researches indicating our bodies are transforming to that rhythm too? I wonder. Genetics can play a big role to prove some facts wrong as I find in some situations.

    Apart from the subject, I can see a lot of changes already been made here. New comment system, design changes, new plugins 🙂

    Well, now I have to post this comment and stand up right away, Harleena 🙂 Gotta decrease the time I sit. It’s now or never.

    Thanks for the golden advice and you have a fabulous day dear 🙂

    Cheers…

  63. Vee

    April 3, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Great Post! As many mentioned, I knew sitting for long hours is not good for health but didn’t know this bad. I’m committing myself to using a sit-stand type of desk. Thanks for the article.

  64. Sherman Smith

    June 15, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Hey Harleena,

    I didn’t know how serious just sitting for long hours was. I know that it affects o esity but haven’t realize the other affects.

    I just read an article by David Leonhardt about the same subject. Like I was telling him, one good thing about my job is that I’m a field computer technician so I usually walk from site to site to fix computer problems although I can fix them remotely from the comfort of my office but I get bored just sitting there.

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m going to pass this on to a chiropractor friend of mine. Take care!

  65. Eve

    November 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Loved this post. 🙂 After the first few lines I stood up and started standing at my desk. I have been doing a lot more sitting recently and have found that I have much less energy than I used to. I’m going to try to remember to stand while I work rather than sit.

    Thanks!




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Read more posts in the category: Health & Wellness




Warning: Sitting Is The New Smoking

by Harleena Singh time to read: 7 min