If you get in a hardcore workout every day but then sit for many hours at work or home, you’re still prone to the harm of excessive sitting — “the sitting disease.”
Exercise, even if strenuous, does not cancel out the adverse effects of all the sitting you may be doing at work or at home.
Those negative effects include a higher risk of heart disease, blood clots, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
First author of Northwestern Medicine study, Lynette L. Craft, urges even those who exercise like warriors to take lots of mini breaks when sitting before the computer.
Prolonged sitting, even in people who meet recommended exercise quotas, also raises the risk of congestive heart failure and some cancers.
In the Northwestern study, women spent an average of nine hours a day sitting, even though many were physically active at least 150 minutes per week.
Just like smoking is harmful even if you run five miles a day and do your kettlebell swings and dumbbell lunges, sitting many hours a day, just as well, is harmful to your health.
Though working out provides numerous health benefits, the reversal of the sitting disease is not one of them.
That’s because excessive time in a chair is an independent risk factor for various health ailments.
Gym Tips to Reduce Sitting Time
See if you can get through an entire gym workout without sitting, with the exception of maybe changing shoes and of course, doing seated exercises.
But do NOT plop down after a crushing set of deadlifts, squats or weighted walking lunges.
If you have a sit-down job, your goal should be to avoid sitting as much as possible. That includes between weightlifting sets.
In fact, if a strength training exercise involves sitting, you may want to exit the equipment between sets.
Another way to reduce sitting time at the gym is to stand between bench press sets. Many people sit on the bench.
Stand while drinking water and using your phone.
At home stand as much as possible while watching TV and using your phone.
At work get up every 45 minutes and walk about.
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.