Sitting Kills, Moving Heals

By Dr. Mercola

If you are like most people, myself included, you probably spend a large portion of each day in a seated position. It’s hard to avoid these days, as computer work predominates, and most also spend many hours each week driving to and from work.

Mounting research now suggests that sitting in and of itself is an independent risk factor for poor health and premature death—even if you exercise regularly.

Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, presents a simple yet powerful scientific explanation for why sitting has such a dramatic impact on your health, and how you can simply and easily counteract the ill effects of sitting.

She was one of the primary doctors responsible for ensuring the health of the astronauts as they went into space, investigating the health ramifications of space travel, and what can be done to counter them.

On a side note, one of my initial life ambitions was actually to be an astronaut, up until college when I opted for pre-med instead. I am glad I did not pursue being an astronaut because I think there are far too many health dangers associated with working in space. But it was definitely an initial ambition of mine.

My primary passion is improving health which is why I’m very excited about Dr. Vernikos’ work. There have been a number of studies within the last year or two that show that even if you are very fit, exercising as much as five times a week for a half hour to an hour each time, you can fall far short of optimum fitness if you sit most of the rest of the time. You are even at an increased risk of dying prematurely.

Dr. Vernikos’ research with astronauts has clarified why this occurs and, even more importantly, provides us with a simple regimen that could counteract those consequences.

In order to determine why regular exercise does not appear to compensate for the negative effects of prolonged sitting, some of her research focused on finding out what type of movement is withdrawn by sitting. What she discovered was as revolutionary as it was counter-intuitive. Not only did she discover that the act of standing up is more effective than walking for counteracting the ill effects of sitting, the key is how many times you stand up.

It is actually the change in posture that is the most powerful signal, in terms of having a beneficial impact on your health, not the act of standing in and of itself. Put another way, the key to counteract the ill effects of sitting is to repeatedly interrupt your sitting. The key is frequent intermittent interactions with gravity. Standing up 35 times at once will provide only a small percent of the benefit of standing up once every 20 minutes.

It’s All About Interacting Regularly With Gravity

During Skylab, which was the longest mission Dr. Vernikos worked on in the early 1970s, many medical observers noted that astronauts were prematurely ageing while in space. Interestingly, the changes that were occurring were found to be very similar to what happens to you when you are bedridden, and to the ageing process itself. Initially, Dr. Vernikos referred to these phenomena as parallel processes, as she could not prove a cause and effect that were identical to all three.

That eventually changed when she was doing a bed-rest study. Continue reading

To Run Better; Start by Ditching Your Nikes

Before the Nikes, before the breathable, antimicrobial running shorts, before the personal fitness coaches, heart rate monitors, wrist-mounted GPS and subscriptions to Runner’s World, you were a runner. And, like all children, you ran barefoot. Now, a small but growing body of research suggests that barefoot is the way adults … Continue reading

Beware of trendy barefoot running shoes – you could end up with broken bones in your foot

By Anna Hart Advocates of barefoot running claim it can reduce injuries and back pain ‘Minimalist’ shoes such as these now account for 15% of sales But experts say many people suffer injuries by overdoing it early on Runners should make transition from regular trainers more slowly, they say It … Continue reading

Ten tips on how to run faster: Increase your speed

By Kurt Simonsen Everyone who runs can do so faster. No, not everyone can suddenly develop world class speed, as talent and ability usually dictates just how good you can be. But, every person who runs can do things in their training to make them cover more ground in a … Continue reading

10 Benefits of Running, and How to Do It

“Running has never failed to give me great end results, and that’s why I keep coming back for more!” – Sasha Azevedo When you envision running, you probably will fall into one of two categories. Either you love it or you hate it; sometimes it is even a love/hate relationship. … Continue reading

Benefits of Self Awareness In Sport

By Karim Awareness is consciousness or expertise in a situation. Self awareness is consciousness and awareness of your thoughts, behaviours, strengths, disadvantages, values, knowledge and potential. Athletes with a winning mind-set target themselves and not the athletes they are competing against. Having an open mind and willingness to seek different … Continue reading

5 Tips on How to Run Faster

There are different schools of thought on how to run faster. Before you begin training to get faster, you need to assess what you actually want to accomplish. There’s a difference between speed and quickness; and although agility drills, (using ladders, cones, dots, etc.) are great for developing overall quickness, … Continue reading

25 Ways to Run Faster

By Emily Faherty It’s been said if you want to run fast, you have to practice running fast. (What? Thought Ryan Hall or Lolo Jones got that quick with just luck?!) Read on for 25 ways to have a harder, better, faster, stronger workout, smoke the competition, and maybe even … Continue reading

The Best Running Shoes Ever.

I have finally found a pair of shoes that I can recommend! Barefoot Shoes They are from the Merrrel barefoot running range and I’ve found them to be both comfortable and suitable for running over fairly rough ground.  They have plenty of room in the toe area, so no soreness … Continue reading

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.15