Being a Couch Potato Could Kill You
Couch potatoes and lazy bones beware – your sedentary TV time could be killing you.
A new Australian study has revealed that for every hour of sedentary time you partake in everyday, the risk of dying earlier from cardiovascular disease or cancer increases. This interesting new research offers an insight into how deeply a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle can affect our bodies – however, it’s not too late to change your tune.
Australian researchers tracked the lifestyle habits of 8,800 adults and found that each hour spent in front of the television daily was associated with:
- 11% increased risk of death from all causes
- 9% increased risk of cancer death
- 18% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related death
Compared with people who watched less than two hours of television daily, those who watched more than four hours a day had a 46% higher risk of death from all causes and an 80% increased risk for cardiovascular related death.
This associated held regardless of other risk factors, including smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, unhealthy diet, excessive waist circumference and leisure-time activities.
While the study focused specifically on television watching, the findings suggest that any prolonged sedentary behaviour, such as sitting at a desk or in front of a computer, may pose a risk to one’s health. The human body was designed to move, not sit for extended periods of time, said David Dunstan, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and professor and Head of the Physical Activity Laboratory in the Division of Metabolism and Obesity at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Victoria, Australia.
“What has happened is that a lot of the normal activities of daily living that involved standing up and moving the muscles in the body have been converted to sitting,” Dunstan said. “Technological, social and economic changes mean that people don’t move their muscles as much as they used to – consequently the levels of energy expenditure as people go about their lives continue to shrink. For many people, on a daily basis they simply shift from one chair to another – from the chair in the car to the chair in the office to the chair in front of the television.”
If you can move – then do it. Most of us spend WAY too much time in front of the idiot box – mindless hours that could be better spent being active and taking care of our body.
It’s little wonder that Australia is fast approaching the ‘fattest country in the world’ title – millions of us spend hours upon hours everyday in front of the television instead of exercising.
The fact that our work lives are also becoming more sedentary definitely doesn’t help.
It may be easier to simply go home, chuck some food in the microwave and settle in on the couch for the night, but as this study shows – such sedentary lifestyle patterns are killing us.
Maintaining a regular pattern of exercise doesn’t have to be as difficult as running 50 km every night. Simple measures can be taken to boost your fitness – and health levels.
Walk around the block for 30 minutes a night, take your dog for a walk in the morning, spend your lunch break on the treadmill instead of on your backside – simple habitual changes can make all the difference to your health.
What else can I do?
Maintaining great health is more than just exercising. Though exercise is important, you must nutritionally support your body to achieve optimal health. Starting with the basics, as explained below, will aid in improving your health, wellbeing and energy levels, and help to keep your body disease free.
- Take a daily multivitamin. We simply don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from our diet alone, so we need to ‘fill in the gaps’ with a good all-round multivitamin, like those found on Emed’s Best Multivitamins. These are the strongest multi’s available, and will provide you with plenty of energy to bounce through your day.
- Cut out the junk. Junk food, smoking, fatty take-aways – all these are heart attack ingredients. Fill up on fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meats, legumes and limit your intake of ‘treats’. Read ‘Health Promoting Nutrition‘ for a no-nonsense guide to eating for good health.
- Having trouble controlling your sugar cravings? You aren’t alone. Using a blood-sugar stabilizing formula like Eagles Gluco Support will help you avoid the mid-afternoon slump or late night chocolate hunt.
- Can’t shake an illness? Being sedentary and indulging in too much ‘bad’ food will take it’s toll on your immune system. By completing the Emed Consultation, you can identify exactly which areas of your health need addressing in order to achieve optimal health. Click here for more information.
- Need snack ideas? Unfortunately those packs of chips or chocolate bars simply won’t suffice as a snack. They may be tasty, but they are doing you no favours. Try Bioceuticals IsoWhey Professional. This range of great-tasting protein shakes will support energy and concentration levels long after the chocolate sugar hit has worn off. They are also a great option for those who are trying to shed a few kilos. Click here for more information.
- Fish Oil for Fat Loss – The New Miracle ‘Diet Pill’?
- Live Longer and Age Less by Exercising
- Two Soft Drinks a Week Increases Cancer Risk by 87%
- Vigorous Exercise Associated with Reduced Breast Cancer Risk