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What If sitting is the new smoking: from sedentary to exercise will it make a difference in health?

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Health risks for sitting instead of moving
Couch potato

Sitting is the new smoking. Have you heard of this yet? Check out a news story from NBC in 2018:

2018. Has anything changed from 5 years ago? Think Covid. We were all locked down for awhile. Think back: did you sit more during this time? I sure was in front of the computer more than normal.

Personal trainers are asking people to do something that perhaps they don’t like: exercise. Why? We know the benefits it has on health but also the detrimental effects it has when it’s absent from life. Exercise is a catabolic event. It is all about breaking down stored energy. So, what happens when that stored energy remains sedentary? Let's look at the external factors in this blog.

Externally is when we see obesity, oversized clothes, less muscle definition. We can keep going but nothing positive will come out. Take a step back to look at how culture has adapted to this new way of life.

I recently saw a patio chair doubled as one chair, for one person. Last week I was told that someone on an airline flight deserved to have the second seat beside her for free because the one seat she bought would not hold her. Look at the size of soft drinks in gas stations. The kids’ size is what we would have considered a “large” about 15 years ago.

Here me clearly in that I am not saying we should engage with body shaming. The struggle with food addiction is real. Have you heard of the latest drug targeted to repress appetite? The chemical response when it comes to food so powerful that some have real difficulty “turning off” this area of the brain. This is a huge leap in helping those with this addiction. One that we all easily see, shake our heads at and silently say, “why can’t you control what you eat?”

What if we cheer on those when they are at the gym or out for a walk or walking from a parking space further away than most? What if we see them as people instead of a problem? What if we stop playing the comparison game? Would this change our own self talk? Would this adjustment slowly change a culture that we all complain about? What are we waiting for?

Are we able to say that we were more active this week? Let’s take a moment to extend kindness first before we jump into criticism.

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