The Scary Truth
Sitting is the silent killer. Of course, sitting in itself is harmless, but like anything, when done in excess it can actually become dangerous to our health and our lifespan. Sitting too much can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and early death. Sitting for over ten given hours of the day is associated with being inactive and failing to meet the recommended minimum of 30-minutes of moderate exercise per day. This puts you at risk for a heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, and other physical consequences. New research is telling us that sitting too much also sets the aging process into hyper-speed. Sit longer and age faster.
In a new study led by researchers at the University of California, scientists tracked the impact of sitting on the body's chromosomes. Inactive women who spent more time sitting throughout the day had accumulated about eight years of aging on average compared to women who spent less time sitting.
Women who were sedentary for at least 10 hours a day were biologically older; their cells were proven to age faster than women who were less sedentary. The trends were clear and conclusive. Women who did not meet the recommended 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, began to see their aging accelerate.
Exercise keeps your DNA young. The cells' aging process is what dictates your aging process. If you look in the mirror and spot the graying hairs or take a walk and feel the slowing joints, you can thank the DNA as it slows its division process.
Each time a cell divides it copies DNA and this section of chromosomes, called telomeres, gets shorter. Participating in moderate exercise protects telmoeres, helping DNA remain younger and holding off your aging process.
The reality is, 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity shouldn't feel unattainable. Making time to get outside, walk around, and engage your body in exercise should be a daily ritual. If your job requires extended periods of sitting, try to split up your breaks to take a walk. If you find yourself sitting inside at home, schedule outings or sign up for interactive sports that can be both fun and beneficial for your body. Stay active so you can live longer and enjoy the pain-free life you deserve.