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Sitting Down Too Long Is Bad Even If You Exercise 376

Ant tips the week-old news that sitting down too much is not good for you, even if you are otherwise fit. A blog at the LA Times reports a followup from Swedish exercise experts: they propose "establishing a new way of thinking about sedentary behavior. They suggest abolishing 'sedentary behavior' as a synonym for not exercising. Instead, sedentary time should be defined as 'muscular inactivity' to distinguish it from not doing any exercise at all." These experts warn that the excessively sedentary are running serious health risks, irrespective of how much exercise they get when they're not plonked behind a desk or lying on a sofa.
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Sitting Down Too Long Is Bad Even If You Exercise

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  • Re:Synonyms (Score:3, Informative)

    by polar red ( 215081 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:13AM (#30829918)

    the article point out that current definitions are inadequate ... so they try to come up with new ones. a language is not static, but dynamic, otherwise we would still speak assyrian or something similar ...

  • Re:Synonyms (Score:4, Informative)

    by xaxa ( 988988 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:48AM (#30830074)

    "Sedantary behaviour", originally a medical term, has found its way into normal British English. Looking at Google Trends [] it's in everyone else's English too.

  • by Clarious ( 1177725 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:49AM (#30830078)

    No, you are wrong, if the normal chance of dying due to heart attack is 0.0001%, then watching TV 8 hours per day will make it 0.000001*(1+0.18*8)= 0.000244%

  • Re:Insurance? (Score:3, Informative)

    by JackieBrown ( 987087 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:54AM (#30830112)

    I have been waiting for insurances to start charging more for people that have poor diet and exercises habits ever since they went after the smokers.

    Unfortunetly, I fall into all of the above categories but have recently quit smoking. (I will swear by chantix for any smoker - assuming that smoker can handle the stomach sickness and nightmares that occur while on the medicine. I didn't have the nightmares but I did have more vivid dreams. It defintely made me sick, though.)

  • by linhares ( 1241614 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:58AM (#30830138)

    May be a bit of junk science, too, but it's hard to tell since I can't find the original study.


  • by Permutation Citizen ( 1306083 ) * on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:15AM (#30830216)

    English is not my native language.

    In french we say "Assis dans un fauteuil". This means literaly "sat in an armchair". Sorry for this french-ism.

  • Re:Insurance? (Score:3, Informative)

    by PaulSipot ( 1299591 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @07:45AM (#30830386)
    I tried quitting several times before and I usually experience vivid dreams when using nicotine patches (The strongest 24/7 ones), I love it! It makes me want to sleep all the time, but the effect wares off after a week or two :/.
  • by weicco ( 645927 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @09:15AM (#30830806)

    You are absolutely right. I just add one thing. Artery system works with heart pulse. Venous system (I'm not sure if that's the right worm, I'm not native English speaker) uses muscles like lymphatic system. That's why they instruct you to exercise your legs on long flights so you won't get thromboses (again, I'm not sure if that's the right term) on your legs. Or at least that's what they told me in elementary school some 20 years ago :)

  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @09:52AM (#30831098) Homepage

    Let me rebut: Epic fail on your post.

    Back in October I was in the best shape of my life. 1.5mi run in ~9:45@31yrs old. 400m+ sprints, 60+situps and crunches, 40chinups and 68 pushups in 1min, I won't bore you with free weight stuff or anything, but so on and so forth. While I was doing situps as part of some testing, I popped the C5 in my spine. I've spent the last 3 odd months in a near state of constant pain, and complete muscle weakness in my left arm with weakness in my right wrist, with my upper back and upper spine messed up.

    I probably have 3-4mo more of physiotherapy before I'll be able to get back to my prep training. This entire time I've spent strengthening and retaining muscles. And trying to rebuild strength, the biggest thing that sucks about this? 2-4hrs of sleep per day. I'm surprised I haven't gone insane yet.

    One of the GP's are right. Most injuries come from sports or something related to it, you don't get seriously injured sitting on your ass. You simply degrade slowly over time.

  • by radtea ( 464814 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @10:59AM (#30831932)

    Some native American tribes (in Mexico, I think) still are a testament to that. They walk hundrets of miles in one trip. In crappy shoes or barefoot. (After all, we’re built for it.) No problem.
    And they never get sick. They have some of the best healths on the planet.

    Non-European population... check.

    Very far away and hard to get to vaguely specified location... check.

    Remarkable physical feets (as it were)... check.

    Amazing health claims... check.

    Ok! You win a "Jean-Jacques Rousseau Noble Savage Bullshit Prize"!

    The people you're talking about are Taramuhara Mayans in Mexico []. They've been moderately studied by one enthusiast. They run barefoot or very nearly and are very good at it, strongly suggesting a case can be made for minimalist running, much to the chagrin of the Running Shoe-Industrial Complex.

    The claims that they "never get injuries" and keep running into their 80's and 90's are not exactly based on a formal review of treatment records at the local hospital. The claims that they "never get sick" are just the usual hyperbolic amplification that people pursuing the "Noble Savage Bullshit Prize" engage in, heedless of the terrible damage it does to their own brains and the brains of everyone around them.

    You need to be more careful: we know that if a sufficient amount of Noble Savage Bullshit builds up in the world it can actually bring about the end of civilization.

  • Re:My excuse (Score:3, Informative)

    by RobDude ( 1123541 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @11:26AM (#30832296) Homepage

    Muscle doesn't turn to flab. Ever.

  • by vtcodger ( 957785 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @11:40AM (#30832500)

    ***Saying your diet has greater impact on your health than exercise is nonsense.***

    A data point to support that. The traditional Japanese diet is basically starch and salt. Stuff with the same general nutrient-chemical mix from a vending machine would be alleged to be bad news if not almost instantly lethal. On average, the Japanese outlive just about everyone on the planet. (but they walk ... a lot).

  • by thepotoo ( 829391 ) <[thepotoospam] [at] []> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @01:18PM (#30834178)

    GP is not saying society as a whole can't do impressive things (for ancient cultures religions like animism were able to bind people together to accomplish e.g. Stonehenge or Easter Island), as an anthropologist you know a lot more than I, the ignorant layman, do about that.

    I believe what the GP was referring to was the inability of the individual to form cohesive, specific, long-term plans. This is pretty much the domain of the human pre-frontal cortex - not many other species evolved to have the types of planning seen there. The PFC integrates information from our environments and tries to make the best decision possible based on that information. But, being a new evolutionary development, there are still lots of bugs to work out. Advertisements, propaganda, and their ilk are able to trick the PFC into thinking that a decision is the "best" one, when it is in fact terrible.

    Our failure to deal with collective problems is, likely a collective one, but our failure to deal with specific individual problems is a "failure" of our PFC. The classic case study for this is Phineas Gage, who decided to experiment with blasting power and iron rods. After he suffered PFC damage, he lacked the planning skills to lead a normal life, instead "living for the moment". It's an extreme case, but I suspect that the "failure of our biological circuitry" really is behind a lot of people's inability to plan 10 years ahead (note that "failure of our biological environment" may also play a pretty big role).

  • Re:My excuse (Score:4, Informative)

    by yurtinus ( 1590157 ) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @01:48PM (#30834616)
    Cycling 1 hour a day *is* moderate...

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal