Is sitting really the new smoking? That seems to be the consensus.
This video from AsapSCIENCE -- a YouTube channel that delivers a "weekly dose of fun and interesting science" -- explores exactly what sitting does to your body.
And -- surprise! -- the answer is not a great one.
In addition to only burning just one calorie per minute, sitting deteriorates your muscles, increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes and makes it harder to lose weight. And if you sit for six hours per day, the clip points out, after 10-20 years of sitting you could lose up to seven quality-adjusted life years (years without health issues or death). Additionally, the risk of dying of heart disease increases by 64 percent, while the risk of prostate or breast cancer increases by 30 percent, the video notes.
Sadly, many of us are stuck sitting for quite a few hours a day, thanks to office jobs. So, what can you do about it? In a Huffington Post blog published this month, author and career expert Caroline Dowd-Higgins suggests consciously becoming more active at work. Consider investing in devices like Fitbit and walking to meetings, for example.
"A person's creative output increased by an average of 60 percent while walking -- regardless of whether it was indoors or outdoors. So, not only is the walking meeting advantageous to your health -- it can promote new ideas and problem solving as well," Dowd-Higgins writes, citing a Stanford University study.
Since we know you're probably reading this while sitting at a computer, a word to the wise: Get up and stretch those legs!