The “sitting disease” is back in the news: Excessive sitting is linked to issues with voiding: lower urinary tract symptoms.
Problems with peeing in the case of extended sitting time refer to issues with urinating and/or storing urine.
The association between peeing problems and prolonged sitting (as well as overall sedentary lifestyle) is a finding that’s reported in the BJU International (March 2018). The study involved 69,795 Korean men of middle age.
Lower urinary tract problems were 39 per 1,000 person-years, says the study.
A person-year refers to the number of years of follow-up multiplied by number of people in a study.
Problems Peeing May Be Related to Excess Sitting Time
“The results support the importance of both reducing sitting time and promoting physical activity for preventing lower urinary tract symptoms [LUTS],” explains lead author Dr. Heung Jae Park in the BJU paper.
“Further studies are still needed to examine the influence of sedentary behaviors on LUTS and its determinants,” says senior author Dr. Seungho Ryu in the same paper.
Nevertheless, this study is an eye opener and brings more awareness to the sitting disease – which has been called the “new smoking,” because excess time with your butt in a seat is associated with the same severity and type of cardiovascular health problems as is smoking.
In addition to problems with peeing, excessive sitting is also linked (and very strongly at that) to coronary artery disease, chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, deep vein thromboses and spinal problems.
Rid the Sitting Disease
Two ways to break free of the sitting disease are to walk about the room or pace forward and backward while watching TV, and to get in the habit of using a treadmill desk for computer work.
You may also want to wear a high quality pedometer to track the number of steps you get in daily. Aim for at least 6,000 and ideally 10,000.
This will be an incentive to reduce your sitting time throughout the day.
If you regularly do stretching exercises for your legs, do them while standing.
For example, hamstring stretches can easily be done while standing by propping a foot on a height and gently leaning your chest towards your knee.
Additionally, see if you can replace some seated strength training exercises with a standing version.
For example, replace a seated dumbbell curl with standing, and seated overhead dumbbell press with standing.
Little changes like this will go a long way in cutting back on the amount of time you spend in a chair.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.