What does it mean when someone says “sitting is the new smoking”? The phrase actually illustrates the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle on our health. So much so that it’s enough to be compared to cigarette smoking.

The Trouble with Too Much Sitting

A sedentary lifestyle refers to an individual who spends the majority of their day sitting or lying down with little to no physical activity. The truth is that accounts for a lot of the population. In our modern world, such small amounts of physical activity are required to get through the day.

Whether it’s spending commute time in the car or avoiding stores with online shopping, our routines have changed a lot over the years. And perhaps most important of all, many people rely more and more on technology to do their jobs. This could mean that upwards of six, seven, maybe even eight hours of our day are spent sitting behind a computer screen.

“Sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to obesity and increased blood sugar, which can be a precursor to diabetes. It can also cause excess fat around the mid-section, blood clots, cardiac disease, stroke, and elevated cholesterol levels. Over 25% of Americans sit for more than 8 hours a day, and about half of those get little to no exercise.”

Michael Robertson Jr., NP

Nurse Practitioner, Cardiology Center, Sisters of Charity Hospital

How Being Sedentary Affects Your Heart Health

If you’ve ever wondered whether all that sitting impacts your health, the answer is clear: Yes.

Studies show long periods of sitting can increase our risks for chronic health conditions, like obesity, diabetes, cardiac disease, and more. So how do we combat those hours of sitting? Robertson recommends patients get active and stay active.

Here are his suggested ways to offset those days spent lounging:

  • Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes – set a timer to stretch and walk around
  • Stand while on the phone or watching TV
  • If your employer offers it, try a standing desk
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Implement daily exercise at home

Check In On Your Heart

Many Western New Yorkers struggle with their heart health. If you find yourself experiencing common heart disease symptoms, such as shortness of breath, high blood pressure, chest pain, and constant fatigue, discuss screening options with your doctor or contact a cardiac specialist near you.

Learn more about the services available at the Sisters Cardiology Center. Click here or call the number below.

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113

Find a Cardiologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2113