Sitting is the New Smoking

Sitting is the New Smoking

Living in Dubai is great, but unfortunately with working long hours, lack of exercise and the ease of ordering (fast) food, sitting is taking a major toll on our health. 

From the aircraft or office seat to the drivers seat and then the couch at home, people in Dubai are spending more time seated than ever and researchers say it’s destructive to our bodies. 

A study that shows the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles sums up the findings in two sentences: “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” Other researchers have found and continue to find evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Another reason the smoking analogy is relevant is that studies have repeatedly shown the effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise or other good habits. Sitting, like smoking, is very clearly bad for our health and the only way to minimize the risk is to limit the time we spend sitting each day.  New science shows very persuasively that standing up about every 20 minutes, even for only a minute or two, reduces your risks of developing diabetes and heart disease.

By standing up, you cause the big muscles in your legs and back to contract, which leads to an increase in certain enzymes that break up fat in the blood stream. You don’t have to jog in place or do jumping jacks. Just stand. A very pleasant additional benefit is that standing up every 20 to 30 minutes also seems to prompt the body to burn calories, so you don’t gain that ‘Dubai Stone’ we all know too well!