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Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Is sitting the new smoking?  If so, how do we quit? -- By: Dr. Ashley Wallace, PT, DPT


According to several recent studies, periods of prolonged sitting are correlated with increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.  However, these studies also suggest that breaking up long periods of sitting with exercise and regular stretching breaks can reduce these risks and even lower blood pressure, especially in women.  So, the next time you’ve settled into your favorite seat to binge-watch your favorite show, or if you’re working on a deadline in front of your computer, try your best to stand up, go for a walk, or do some gentle stretching at least once every hour.  Your body will be very grateful! 

Here are a few of our clinician’s favorite exercises: Mini Squats, Standing Marching, Standing Calf Stretch, Standing Pec Stretch

 

Exercises

  • Mini Squat with Chair - 3 x daily - 7 x weekly - 1-2 sets - 10 reps

  • Standing Marching - 3 x daily - 7 x weekly - 1-2 sets - 10 reps

  • Standing Gastroc Stretch - 3 x daily - 7 x weekly - 1-2 sets - 30 second hold

  • Pec Minor Stretch - 3 x daily - 7 x weekly - 1-2 sets - 30 second hold

  • Wheeler, M. J., Dunstan, D. W., Ellis, K. A., Cerin, E., Phillips, S., Lambert, G., … Green, D. J. (2019). Effect of Morning Exercise With or Without Breaks in Prolonged Sitting on Blood Pressure in Older Overweight/Obese Adults. Hypertension, 73(4), 859–867. doi: 10.1161/hypertensionaha.118.12373

  • Chang, Y. J., Bellettiere, J., Godbole, S., Keshavarz, S., Maestas, J. P., Unkart, J. T., … Sears, D. D. (2020). Total Sitting Time and Sitting Pattern in Postmenopausal Women Differ by Hispanic Ethnicity and are Associated With Cardiometabolic Risk Biomarkers. Journal of the American Heart Association, 9(4). doi: 10.1161/jaha.119.013403

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