Sitting & Metabolism: Surprising Stats


That’ll Make You Stand Up!

I’ve just finished week one of my 6-week Back to School Transformation Challenge. My clients are focused on eating healthy and getting more exercise. They are dropping inches as well as unwanted fat. But did you know that even if you regularly exercise, your metabolism may not get the boost it needs? In this post I’ll share some surprising statistics about sitting and its negative effect on weight management and metabolism.

Long Periods of Sitting Can Be Hazardous

The National Cancer Institute conducted an eight-year study following almost 250,000 American adults. Participants reported on their daily activity, answering detailed questions about how much time they spent commuting, watching TV, sitting in front of a computer, exercising, sleeping, etc. At the start of the study, none of the study participants suffered from health issues like heart disease, cancer, or diabetes.  At the study’s 8 year point, those participants who were sedentary were either sick or dead. Those who sat in front of the boob tube for 7 or more hours a day proved to have a much higher risk of premature death. Well… duh!

But here’s the surprising part. Those people who exercised 7 hours or more a week who also spent time in front of the TV were still more likely to die compared to those who watched less TV.

Australian Study Determined 1 Hour of TV Watching = Snipping 22 Minutes from Life Span

Get your dogs off their butts, too! Take them with you on your walk.

The University of Queensland did a study about prolonged TV viewing time and its connection to life expectancy. The article is a bit dry, but here’s a recap: If an average man watched zero hours of TV in his adult life, the researchers concluded his life span might be 1.8 years longer.

Sitting, Metabolism & Weight Gain

Dr. Levine of The Mayo Clinic began his study to answer this question: Why do some people who consume the same amount of food as others gain more weight? He measured everything, thinking there was a magical metabolism factor. Dr. Levine invented a motion-tracking underwear (betcha that was attractive and comfortable : D ). Let’s get to the punchline. Dr. Levine found that the people who didn’t gain weight were unconsciously moving around more. They didn’t exercise more, they just moved more in general. If you want to read more about the study, this New York Times article is a fun read.

Ok, by now you’ve been scared out of your chair and off the couch. Have you set any fitness goals so you move more?

Please share in the comments section things you do to move just a little bit more (aside from working out).

Let’s learn from each other!


Committed to your success,

Image credits

Thank you to the following Flickr photographers:

Sitting on bikes:

Doggies on couch: