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January 25, 2017
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January 25, 2017

The Sitting Disease by the Numbers

In previous posts we have discussed the effects of too much sitting (Sitting is the Enemy) and some possible ways to combat this growing pandemic (8 Easy Tips to be Healthier at Your Desk Job, Yoga Poses to Combat the Ill Effects of Sitting, 10 Ways to Sneak Exercise into your Daily Routine), but now it is time to look at the rather staggering numbers.

The global population is currently 7.3 Billion. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 4 adults worldwide is not active enough. This means that 1.8 billion people are not meeting the minimum for physical activity in their lives.

What do we mean when we say physical activity? The WHO defines it as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure – including activities undertaken while working, playing, carrying out household chores, travelling, and engaging in recreational pursuits.” By their standard, adults should have at the bare minimum 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week, while children and adolescents need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity activity daily.

Time Magazine also supports this claim, reporting that “Rates of physical inactivity were higher in high-income countries than in low-income nations. The Americas were overall the most sedentary region — with 43% of the population not exercising enough — while rates of inactivity were lowest in southeast Asia (17%).” The numbers make it clear that, when physical labor is no longer a necessary part of life, the motivation to be active diminishes.

So bottom line is over a billion people worldwide are not active enough. And one of the largest contributing factors to this is the structure of the workplace. According to the New York Times, in the American workplace “80 percent of jobs, the researchers report, are sedentary or require only light activity… [and] it is estimated that only one in five Americans achieves a relatively high level of physical activity at work.” Sitting at a desk all day may pay the mortgage, but it is also slowly killing you.

Time Magazine also supports this claim, reporting that “Rates of physical inactivity were higher in high-income countries than in low-income nations. The Americas were overall the most sedentary region — with 43% of the population not exercising enough — while rates of inactivity were lowest in southeast Asia (17%).” The numbers make it clear that, when physical labor is no longer a necessary part of life, the motivation to be active diminishes.

So bottom line is over a billion people worldwide are not active enough. And one of the largest contributing factors to this is the structure of the workplace. According to the New York Times, in the American workplace “80 percent of jobs, the researchers report, are sedentary or require only light activity… [and] it is estimated that only one in five Americans achieves a relatively high level of physical activity at work.” Sitting at a desk all day may pay the mortgage, but it is also slowly killing you.

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