Sitting is the New Smoking: On Addictive Practices and Health Implications

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If you think smoking is the most harmless activity, then you should think again.

In recent years, governments and public organizations are keen on emphasizing the side effects of smoking. As a result, there are a lot of campaigns launched against cigarette smoking — including printed images on cigarette boxes and electronic cigarettes.

Another campaign that has been launched is using vape pens, which is the most popular alternative as of the moment. Vape is used with e-liquid like Halocigs. However, some experts claim that this is as addicting as smoking and that the side effects are the same. They’ve even labeled it as the “new smoking”. This claim is argued by the director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions, Dr. James Levine. Levine, who has also been studying the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, and believes that sitting for long periods of time is the new smoking.

The Habit of Sitting

It’s possible that most people in the 21st century spend most of their time sitting compared to other activities. We sit when we eat, drive to work, when we work, ride home, and watch TV or read a book. Thus, it’s not shocking to find that the number of obese people is increasing. Dr. Levine states that an obese person sits about 2 ½ hours more than an average person.

The thing about sitting is that it’s hard to get away without doing it at all. It’s embedded into a person’s daily activity, especially for those working in offices or at home. Then, there are other people who prefer to do it for the reason that they want to save energy. This is a thought that’s shared by many, but is highly erroneous. You’ll find that despite sitting for 3 hours straight, you’ll still feel tired.

The Health Effects of Sitting

When you think about it, sitting seems like a harmless activity. However, doing so for long periods of time can make your bottoms big as you put more force on the area. As a result, the body tissues on the bottom-half of your body easily make fat cells.

Moreover, people who tend to sit more than 6 hours a day are prone to developing several illnesses including diabetes, heart diseases, breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. They are also more likely to experience increased blood pressure and other emotional problems like depression.

The Standing and Walking Operations

There are modern offices specifically designed so that employees stand while working instead of sitting. Though this is effective in addressing the issue, a lot of workers may find this highly inconvenient. Luckily, there are a lot of other options you can follow.

To address the health concerns brought by sitting, a lot of experts suggest standing or walking multiple times during the day. Every 30 minutes or 1 hour at the office, you can take a break from sitting and stretch your leg muscles. If you’re working at home as a freelancer, make sure that you do the same. You can also try buying a high table and work while standing once in awhile.

Conclusion

Nowadays, more people are addicted to sitting compared to smoking. It’s the new problem doctors and other health experts are facing. If you don’t want to be another victim of this unhealthy activity, you must monitor your actions well and stand or walk around when possible.

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