Sitting is the New Smoking

Sitting is the New Smoking

Sitting comfortably?
Well – you shouldn’t be! According to an increase in research on our sedentary lifestyles we are sitting ourselves to death. The average Brit spends 8.9 hours a day sitting.

Dr James Levine – Director of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona has been credited with the above headline. He tells us that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing serious illnesses such as various cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Scarily the World Health Organisation has already identified physical inactivity as the fourth largest killer on the planet. Above obesity.

This inactivity costs the UK economy more than £1 billion/year in sick days due to muscle problems – and back and neck problems.

I remember one day of serious inactivity – we are talking about 17 hours at the computer - I felt fused to the seat. I had seriously damaged my back. With a visit to Elizabeth – our LS Health Styler – I really wanted to tell her I had been salsa dancing in South America but really I had been sitting at a desk for 71% of one day. It’s just not cool.

A new campaign in the UK exists under “Get Britain Standing” telling us that the average Britain spends 8.9 hours sitting per day. Then, on average we are in bed for 7 hours. That’s not a lot of movement time.

We really think you should check out - a really informative website with a handy ‘Sitting calculator”.
This sparked much of a debate at home and a stark realisation when we panicked as we realised the scroll down menu for ‘hours at work’ gives a maximum of 8 hours.

That’s another article in itself.

We asked our own Elizabeth Bandeen what she thought about movement.

Most people need a massage because they feel tension somewhere in their body, and a contributing factor is not moving around enough during the day, especially if you have a desk based job.  If I had my way I would make sure everyone ‘played’ for 45 minutes every day!  Go outside with a football, cycle, run around, and climb!

Here are some ideas of staying on the go at your job. Walking when making phone calls, if you are having a meeting, suggest a walk, great for new inspiration and no interruptions from people sticking their head round the door; fresh air can be soooo stimulating!

Invest in a treadmill desk, great if you are self-employed. Yes these things do exist.
Google the 'Lifespan company'.

Now, before you start laughing it off, think about this. Losing 6Ilbs in weight in a month whilst working… does that sound bad?  Dr James Levine of the Mayo (nothing to do with mayonnaise) clinic in Minnesota argues that a lot of low-level movement over a day is much more beneficial for your health than short spurts of extreme movement followed by long spells of sitting down. Oooft.

Here’s a rough idea of what you could get up to every week.

  • 120 minutes of exercise made up of...
  • 40 minutes of cardio work (spin class… go on I dare you, or try something new!)
  • 40 minutes of strength work (I mean lifting heavy stuff, but lifting properly, free weights instead of machines are best!) Get coached on this if you need it, but be sure to go to someone who is obsessed about what they do.
  • 40 minutes of stretching/flexibility work (yoga, tai chi)”

So, in the words of Bob Marley – get up stand up!


“Nothing is more revealing than movement.”

~Martha Graham




So in the words of Bob Barley "get up, stand up"


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