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SeniorZine, Issue #012 -- Are You Sitting Too Long?
October 01, 2014

Health Success As Senior? Yes, Absolutely!

SeniorZine, Issue #012 -- Are You Sitting Too Long?

October 1, 2014

Are You Sitting Too Long?

There was this article that scared the bejeezus out of me. It made sense. It made me think.

We live in a mainly sedentary world, especially here in the Western part of the globe. We all know we sit too much.

There were voices out there telling us for years to get up from our desk jobs - or whatever seated activity one practices during the day – every hour or so to counter the ill effects sitting has on the spine, leg strength, bone density, core muscles, and so on.

The advice was not only for the working public, but retirees and other older adults and seniors as well. You and me.

I tried to follow that advice (and hopefully you have, too). I thought I was doing the right thing.

Turns out, that is not nearly enough. Here's what scares me.

Although I know I'm in good shape and fit – yet, I'm still at high risk of premature death and disability due to inactivity?

There is accumulating research clearly showing that sitting is harmful to your body even if you're physically fit. Prolonged sitting leads to premature death. Sedentary work kills.

Again, the evidence is simply overwhelming – there are more than 10,000 studies - that prolonged sitting is not just detrimental, it's devastating to your health.

Dozens of chronic diseases, including overweight/obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 Diabetes result from this modern sedentary lifestyle. Chronic conditions shorten your life.

The human body is not designed to sit most of the day with its cellular mechanisms switched off.

Yes, our bodies need rest. It's absolutely vital for health. But that's what a good night's sleep is for – as close to eight hours as possible.

Of course, nobody says you should enjoy your breakfast, lunch and dinner standing up.

For all the millions of years humankind has evolved, we've only started sitting so much in the last 200 years or so. It is simply unnatural.

Studies looking at life in natural agriculture environments – this includes ALL our predecessors - show that people in agrarian communes sit for about three hours a day.

The average American office worker may sit for 13 to 15 hours a day – with poor posture to boot! Some seniors sit even more.

If you must sit, try to get up as often as possible. Every 45 minutes would be an excellent start.

Do yourself a big favor. Get up and go. Work standing up. Save your life. Extend your life.

I promised myself to be more of an "upstanding citizen" from now on.

I always say: "It's never too late" – and so, I encourage you to spread the word to all your senior friends and loved ones. If you or someone you know has questions about health behavior changes (diet and exercise) - contact me . I'm here to listen and help.

I know it works. I'm doing it.

As you already know, I enjoy being my peers' guide, supporter and cheerleader.

Take time for dietary and exercise improvements. Make time for living! Make time for challenges!

One of the goals of is to show you how to live a longer and healthier life by learning from many different older adults, including centenarians.

You can look forward to lots of encouraging information in future editions of SeniorZine. Yours in good senior health,

Guenter Hauser, CHC, CFT, SSF

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