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“Sitting disease” may eventually kill you

This is an interesting article I came across.  A Mayo Clinic doctor calls today’s common sedentary seated lifestyle the “sitting disease” and has proposed the installation of treadmill walking workstations where you would walk while you work instead of sitting.  He talks about the increased risk of cardiovascular disease from prolonged sitting and how walking while working can help to burn more calories, better breakdown fats and sugars, and manage blood sugar more effectively.

Source: Live Science

It’s quite interesting, especially the part about helping to manage blood sugar.  It’s well known that both after fasting and after exercise there is an increased insulin sensitivity as your body wants to refuel itself.  It’s interesting to note that this effect may be perpetuated all day long by working out continuously, although it’s a far stretch to say this is what’s going on without more research.  The article does note that in a study the sedentary group had larger blood sugar spikes after eating than when they worked out.

Of importance is also spinal health.  Sitting or really any prolonged trunk flexion activity just puts a huge demand on the spine.  The flexed trunk takes a lot of compression, it also takes a lot of shear force which is one vertebrae wanting to slip forward over another.  A common mistake is to consider a macro injury event, but in reality most low back pain is due to micro injuries.  They could be due to flexing and compressing the spine all day long for years, or possibly a job which requires repeated trunk bending but not necessarily lifting of heavy weights.  This repeated compression of the spinal discs, vertebral end plates, and constant stress on the ligaments and muscles which compensate for this flexion is what eventually breaks down the biomechanics of the spine and causes injury.

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