SITTING: The Latest Cause Of Death

Don’t you hate it when the latest research published shows SITTING, an event many Americans have mastered over the decades, has become an INACTIVITY (as opposed to activity) we must now FEAR!! Yes, prolonged sitting has been added to the list of situations causing EARLY DEATH. I wonder if life insurance policies will need to be modified as a result of these findings. Since suicide is usually a disclaimer in most policies, if the the cause of death relates to “sitting”, will this invalidate the policy? How will forensic scientists determine whether prolonged sitting was performed to compress and reduce an enlarged posterior or purposefully performed to end one’s life? Although I am having a difficult time from smiling as I write this article, prolonged sitting has recently received a great deal of press time.

My concern with this research is the absence of many underlying factors associated with prolonged sitting. If I asked you to guess what the leading cause of death in the world was, what would your answer be? Would it be cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc…? Based on the manner of this “Prolonged Sitting” research, my answer to this question would be LIFE! Every day we live places us one day closer to death, therefore, prolonged living would have to be the greatest cause of death. If this sounds preposterous to you then “prolonged sitting” (in and of itself) should sound just as ridiculous.

I’ll bet I can tell you who would really enjoy this research. LAWYERS!! Can you imagine the law suits filed against employers for wrongful death resulting from prolonged sitting at work? Can you imagine the TV ads? “If your spouse, partner or other family member has died as a result of unrelenting prolonged sitting at work, call attorneys Smith, Smith and Smith to see if you can be compensated for this unfortunate, ruthless act of work related negligence.”

Now that we’ve had some fun, let’s see if I can apply some points to this research to provide a better explanation how prolonged sitting can negatively affect one’s health. I’m not convinced that heart and brain function suffer irreversible damage by compressing one’s hind quarters in and of itself. How then can prolonged sitting be related to an early grave?

  1. Whether the sitting activity involves a computer or telephone or simply involves repetitive activities like filing, people have a tendency to have FOOD (or food like substances) in close proximity. Unhealthy eating in a work environment is a pretty common occurrence. Prolonged sitting may lead to boredom which typically accompanies in between meal snacking.  This behavior over time could definitely lead to health complications. 

  2. Radiation and high frequency energy are factors that many people are exposed to during prolonged periods of sitting at work. There is a possibility that long time exposure to cell phones, wi-fi, computers, etc… can contribute to damaging bioelectrical effects to the body.

  3. Another possible factor is the effect on lymphatic flow. The lymphatic system  is controlled by motion. Unlike our circulatory (blood) system that has a heart to automatically pump blood throughout our bodies, our lymphatic flow (a system in our bodies that helps remove bacteria, viruses and other sources of infection) requires a mechanical approach to circulate properly. This means that activities like walking or running create a mechanical means to keep this system active and working well. It is possible that prolonged sitting would “clog” this flow  resulting in a compromise of our immune system.

  4. Body_Alignment_Figure13 smaller versionPoorly seated posture can actually reduce effective respiration leading to decreased oxygen intake. Poor posture reduces diaphragmatic excursion (the ability of the diaphragm to move up and down to its intended limits.) Shallow breathing over a prolonged period can damage the body on a cellular level.

  5. Prolonged sitting at work is commonly followed by prolonged inactivity in the home after a long day. Many of us can relate to sedentary lifestyles which has already proven detrimental to our health.

In my opinion, the research has not proven the necessity to contemplate a buttockectomy (the removal of one’s butt) to improve one’s odds for a longer lifespan. I believe that simple engagement of your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, torso, sacrospinal muscles, abdominal muscles and obliques might just be the answer. In English, this means using the muscles needed to STAND UP! It seems to me that this simple solution might be the motivation needed to achieve the next action step called WALKING!. If you are smiling as you read this, you have already begun the process by engaging facial muscles. Why not take the rest of the body’s muscles out for a spin to improve your overall health. Who knows, it just might prolong your LIFE!!! Of course there is always one wise guy that demonstrates his or her wit by coming up with the following alternative solution:

Sitting

Here’s To A Healthier, Funnier And Happier Lifestyle!!!

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26 comments

  1. Thanks for writing this article. Parts of it were funny and parts were helpful. I’m definitely guilty of sitting too much, both because sometimes I find walking and exercising anxiety provoking and because sometimes I think I just fall into a pattern of laziness and boredom.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I attempted to create a blend of humor and substance without intimidating the reader. I enjoy helping people achieve the level of health and balance THEY want for themselves. Anxiety is a real issue that must be taken into account by health professionals when working with patients. Finding a “safe” reference point that a person can return to when attempting to step outside their comfort zone can be a method to overcoming some types of anxiety. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your personal feelings and comment.
      I do have one question (which you are not obligated in any way to answer if you feel uncomfortable) if you don’t mind. Would walking on a beach or hiking in the mountains create a positive feeling or trigger a negative or anxious response? I’m trying to understand whether it is the activity of walking or the “pressure of exercise” that provokes the response. I ask questions like this of people because listening to their responses has provided me an education that textbooks will never be able to duplicate. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t mind answering, sorry it took me so long! I think it depends on the person and what their specific worries are. I know for me, walking can make me anxious at times depending on my anxiety and whether or not I’m comfortable where I am. However, I think teaching anxiety sufferers to take small steps with walking, running, and exercising in general is helpful. I hope that helps!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I appreciate your thoughtful response. I have found that small steps in most situations help people stay the course and benefit from long term outcomes. Life is certainly not linear in direction, but the volatility in life is reduced with smaller steps. Thank you for all your help.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. hehe! I love the concept of Lawyer involvement. I would not put this past the legal profession for Lawyers looking to ‘break new ground’.
    What about the people that have no choice but to sit all day because of illness or a disability? People really need to think about these hyped up headlines

    Liked by 2 people

    1. In general I’m hoping the motive was to help identify behaviors most people could easily alter to improve healthy outcomes. It never occurred to me that a lack of sensitivity might exist in these articles and those suffering from disability or illness might be the unintentional victims. You bring up an excellent point.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Love your post…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes I feel the need to prove a doctor CAN have a sense of humor and provide some substance without putting the reader in a coma! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Hoping your new approach to health continues to bring you lots of rewards.

      Like

      1. thanks…hope things are a little easier for you and your father….kathy

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Bridgette's Digits 🔛 An Epic Weight Loss Journey · · Reply

    WOW… that last image, someone need to help that lady out of that chair! LOL 😂

    Good read.

    ~bridgette

    Liked by 1 person

  5. She just graduated from Jonathan’s school of contortionism. I’m enrolling new students for next semester if you are interested?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bridgette's Digits 🔛 An Epic Weight Loss Journey · · Reply

    This fall, I’m taking my first yoga class. So let me get that under my belt and I’ll check back with u on next falls enrollment! LOL 😃

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good for you. I hope you enjoy it. Yoga offers many benefits. BTW, I’ll leave an opening in next fall’s enrollment for you just in case. 😀 The class is free for all those able to assume the sitting position you saw in my post! 🙂

    Like

  8. I laughed so hard reading this article and your comments! BUT I also find that when I find a post humorous, I tend to read it even more closely, because I love laughing and don’t want to miss one word. Bravo Dr. J! Oh, another word for my poems: Buttockectomy! Lol. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment made writing the article that much more fun. Trying to prove a doctor can have a sense of humor is not an easy task. I find that the removal of the proctoscope after 20+ years in practice helps create a whole new perspective on life. Keep smiling! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha! I’m not sure I’d want to go for the complete removal of this muscle mass, but I might not blush at the suggestion of a butt reduction procedure; a buttockreductonomy, is that what we would call it? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tell you what, I’ll save you some money and help you achieve the same goal. “Working” your buttock off will help create the finished product you’re looking for without the need of a scalpel. It might require a little more time and energy, but the effort will be well worth it (even if we do it 5-8 minutes at a time!)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My previous workplace often told us that “sitting is the new smoking,” which I’ve also read a lot about online (including here: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005). As a result, we had sit/stand workstations and even treadmill desks. I thought it was great because a sedentary lifestyle isn’t good for anyone.

    In my new workplace, we have the standard cube farm and I’m definitely not liking it as much. Of course, it’s not the act of sitting itself but the fact that it breeds a very lazy lifestyle, which I’m definitely trying to avoid. I’ve recently bought a few tools to help me combat this problem since I will very likely be working in an office for another 25 years (ahhhhhhh!).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After getting to know you a bit from our blog sites, I am convinced that your destiny will be decided by you, your beliefs and your actions. I was a political science major and planned on attending law school. After realizing my interest was in courtroom litigation, I realized a successful career would be based on my ability to discredit perfectly qualified and capable people. At 30 years of age, I decided instead to begin a completely new path in life. I went back to a community college to fulfill all the prerequisites required to attend Chiropractic College. At the time, I was employed in a job that paid well and offered some additional benefits. I decided at this fork in the road that I was going to be responsible for my own destiny. I gave my job notice, spent most of my savings and drove to Davenport, Iowa to begin my new education and new path in life. Trust me, Davenport, Iowa is not known as the vacation capital of the world. It was a little nerve racking, but absolutely worth it.
      With your skills and passion for life, I hope you never just settle on life. It offers so many possibilities to those willing to reach out and take a chance. I wish you only the best!

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Actually…kinda dislike. I want sitting to be healthy. I’m doing it right now. I went to the gym already, but had a blog to write…and read some too! Okay. I’ll go for a walk, already… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hey, it’s all about balance. A little sitting…a little gym work. A lot of good health and happiness. Sounds pretty good to me. 🙂

    Like

  13. With the popularity of Fitbit I feel more and more people will be aware of how much “sitting” they actually do. my husband has a desk job and since he got his Fitbit he is more aware of taking short walking breaks in the day. Once you realize how much sitting time you actually have it motivates you to move.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more. Any tool that helps people feel motivated is a wonderful addition to the arsenal. The trick is developing a pattern of behavior. Exercise (like anything else) becomes boring. Changing it up helps, but understanding its importance and recognizing the improved quality of life it affords is the big payoff. It provides balance to leisure living as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find the competition of a fit bit really motivates me

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for considering so many possibile explanations for the observed correlation between poor health and lots of sitting. Typical press accounts might encourage somebody who is weak on the difference between correlation and causation to expect good health despite spending hours in front of the TV with a cheeseburger in one hand and a sugary drink in the other — but standing, not sitting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes people create “convenient truths” to satisfy their individual wants. People have to be willing to accept change in life. This can be a very frightening concept to some. As the saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but I’m sure he’d prefer a cold sugary drink or one loaded with chemical preservatives.”

      Liked by 1 person

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