Why Sitting Is The New Smoking

From Natalie Jill, the social media extraodinaire and hot new voice in the fitness world, out with her new book – The 7 Day Jumpstart.

“Working toward ‘skinny’ is discouraging, but working toward STRONGER is empowering—you will see!

Now’s the time when we get to break a sweat, get those endorphins going, and have some fun! The single most important fitness habit you can learn is to walk and move your body daily. Keep in mind that it takes seventeen to thirty days to change an old habit and create a new one, so as you commit to my nutrition plan, it’s equally important to commit to moving every single day until it becomes natural and part of your lifestyle. If you’re not used to moving a lot, it may seem like a lot of change. But trust me—once you incorporate more movement into your daily life, your days won’t be complete without it. A beginner might walk a mile, while someone in top shape may sprint for a minute; both require intensity, and both will give results. Just by doing what you’re able to do now, know that you are progressing.

Now, when I talk about moving your body, it’s not just about following an exercise plan. It’s also about getting up and moving throughout the day. It’s not just about looking lean and fit. You may be surprised to learn that sitting at a desk job can sabotage your health, posture, and fat-loss efforts.

Sitting is the New Smoking 

As human beings, we were not designed to sit in a car, behind a desk, or on the couch for so many hours a day.

In fact, the amount of time you spend sitting and not moving your body is a more important factor in fat-loss than exercise. Consider that for a moment. You know how so many people out there are constantly fixated on their workout routine? Yet so many of these people fail to realize that there is actually an even more important factor than their workout routine that they’ve given almost zero thought to—the amount of movement they’re doing throughout the day.

It turns out that prolonged sitting can erase many of the benefits of exercise. New research shows that every hour that you sit erases between 8 and 16 percent of the metabolic benefits of your workouts! Do the math here! That means that even if you do an hour long workout seven days a week, if you sit for ten hours a day, then you’ve just erased at least 80 percent of the metabolic benefits of that workout, and maybe well over 100 percent. One step forward, one step back. This is a recipe for working out hard and still spinning your wheels getting nowhere.

Prolonged sitting can even shorten your lifespan. One study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which included nearly 12,000 Australian adults, concluded that each hour spent watching television after the age of 25 reduces your life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes. By way of comparison with something you know is really bad for you, when the authors compared that reduction to smoking, they found that each cigarette reduces your life expectancy only by about 11 minutes. That’s how sitting became the new smoking.

But there is good news—and it’s called NEAT.

Stay tuned for Natalie’s NEAT method next week. 

For more on health and diet, read this post about foods that burn fat. Or click here for 10 great ab workouts