Times are changing and new technologies are making life easier. But is this always a good thing? Among those with sedentary occupations it is not unusual to be seated for up to 8 hours per day. To make things worse, many people then choose to sit for several hours in front of a television set after arriving home from work. The anatomical position of the human body is upright. Surely it can’t be good for the body to be seated for such long periods of time?
Two recent studies have found that prolonged sitting times are related to mortality and chronic disease. Dr. Van der Ploeg and colleagues from the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney in a study of over 200,000 people found a strong relationship between long periods of sitting and death. Disturbingly, this relationship did not change for those who combined long periods of sitting and regular physical activity. Want to add two years to your life? Authors Katzmarzyk and Lee recently published an article in the British Medical Journal demonstrating a 2 year increase in life expectancy in those who limited their sitting to less than three hours per day.
Do you feel like standing up yet?
But how is prolonged sitting related to sports medicine? The role of the modern sports medicine clinician reaches far beyond treating sports injuries. Health promotion is increasingly being recognised as one of the important roles of the sports clinician. Our previous blogs ‘Physical Activity: The silver bullet,’ ‘One Scotsman, one huge impact’ and ‘Sports Medicine: Promoting health and physical activity’ demonstrate the potential of sports medicine clinicians to educate and inspire the community; to promote health as well as sport.