“Sitting increases our chances of death by up to 40%? Sitting is making us fat too?”

Reading statements like this as I sit at my PC to write this post, I feel a warm blanket of guilt envelop me.  Can the statistics, claims and warnings be correct?  Does sitting day-after-day for hours at a time really affect our health to this extreme?  In compiling all the stats and studies, it would seem there's a great deal of info supporting these claims.  Be it somewhat embellished for shock value, I've realized that in today's North American society, sometimes it's what's needed to grab our attention.

However, we remember when the government began placing warning labels on cigarette packages, pictures showing the blatant effects of long-term smoking.  It definitely got a lot of attention, but people continue to smoke.  So this begs the question, what's needed to truly make a lasting impact and significant shift in the minds of North Americans?  This is a rhetorical question more than anything, but hopefully gets you thinking.

Health Canada Cigarette Warning Label

Health Canada Cigarette Warning Label

I'd love to hear your thoughts on possible solutions.  Post to comments and get in on the conversation.  

To whet the creative juices have a look at some of the information I found via 3 different sources:

  1. ParticipACTION
  2. Movember
  3. Infographic:  “Sitting is killing you”

Next time you find yourself sitting for prolonged periods, take those necessary breaks and move around.  Who knows, it might save your life.

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The impact of physical inactivity care of ParticipACTION

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Physical inactivity costs Canadian taxpayers approximately $6.8 billion a year, or 3.7 percent of health care costs, per year. Getting moving and active is associated with as much as a 30% reduction in all causes of mortality rates. With its partners, ParticipACTION wants to be part of the solution, getting Canadians moving today.

Families and children

  • Today’s Canadian children and youth are heavier, fatter, rounder and weaker than they were a generation ago.  *Source: Tremblay, M. S., Shields, M. Laviolette, M., Craig, C. L., Janssen, I., & Gorber, S. C. (2010). Fitness of Canadian children and youth: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Statistics Canada, Health Reports 21(1), Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE.
  • Childhood obesity in Canada has tripled over the past three decades.  *Source: Shilds, M. (2005). Measured Obesity: Overweight Canadian children and adolescents. Statistics Canada, Analytic Studies and Reports. ISSN: 1716-6713.
  • The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that Canadian youth, aged 5 – 17, accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity each day. Only 5% of 5- to 17-year olds are meeting the recommendations.  *Source: 2009-2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS; www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/100113/dq100113a-eng.htm)
  • In youth aged 15-17, the daily time spent walking decreased from 17 to 11 minutes between 1992 and 2010; this decline was particularly evident in girls.  *Source: Active Healthy Kids Canada. (2013) Are we driving our kids to unhealthy habits? The Active Healthy Kids Canada report card on physical activity for children and youth 2013, Toronto, ON.
  • According to the Canadian Health Measures Survey, 17% of Canadian children and youth are overweight and an additional 9% are obese.  *Source: Tremblay, M. S., Sheilds, M. Laviolette, m>, Craig, C. L., Janssen, I., &Grober, S. C. (2010) Fitness of Canadian children and youth: Results from the 2007 – 2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Statistics Canada, Health Reports 21(1), Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE
  • Canadian kids are spending seven hours and 48 minutes a day in front of television, video game and computer screens – over the course of a week, that is as much time as their parents spend at work.  *Source: Active Healthy Kids Canada. (2012) Is active play extinct?: The Active Healthy Kids Canada report card on physical activity for children and youth 2012, Toronto, ON.
  • Sedentary time as a percentage of waking hours increases from 50% in 3- to 4-year-olds, to 57% in 5- to 11-year-olds, to 68% in 12- to 17-year-olds.  *Source: 2009-2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS; www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/100113/dq100113a-eng.htm)
  • Sport participation in Canada, youth aged 15-18 declined from 77% in 1992 to 59% in 2005.  *Source: Ifedi, F. (2008). Sport participation in Canada, 2005. Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics. Vol. Catalogue no. 81-595-MIE – No. 060: Statistics Canada
  • 46% of Canadian kids get three hours or less of active play per week, including weekends.  *Source: Active Healthy Kids Canada. (2012) Is active play extinct?: The Active Healthy Kids Canada report card on physical activity for children and youth 2012, Toronto, ON
  • The proportion of Canadian kids who play outside after school dropped 14% over the last decade.  *Source: Active Healthy Kids Canada. (2012) Is active play extinct?: The Active Healthy Kids Canada report card on physical activity for children and youth 2012, Toronto, ON

All Canadians

  • Physical inactivity is one of the five leading global risk factors for mortality and is estimated to cause 2 million deaths per year.  *Source: World Health Organization. (2009). Global health risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GlobalHealthRisks_report_full.pd f
  • Obese male and female patients incur physician costs that are 14 -17 % higher than normal-weight patients.  *Source: PHAC/ CIHI. (2011). Obesity in Canada: A joint report from the public health agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. ISBN: 978-1-100-18133-2.
  • Results from the Canadian Health Measures Survey forecast accelerated disease development, increased health care costs and loss of productivity due to declining fitness levels in Canada.  *Source: Tremblay, M. S., Shields, M. Laviolette, M., Craig, C. L., Janssen, I., & Gorber, S. C. (2010). Fitness of Canadian children and youth: Results from the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Statistics Canada, Health Reports 21(1), Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE
  • Physical inactivity cost Canadian taxpayers $6.8 billion in 2009, or 3.7 % of all health care costs.  *Source: Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2012, 37(4): 803-806, 10.1139/h2012-061
  • According to the Conference Board of Canada in 2010, we could save $76 billion over the next ten years by tackling the five main risk factors for heart disease: smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure and lack of fruit and vegetable consumption.  *Source: Theriault, L., Stonebridge, C. & Browarski, S. (2010). The Canadian Heart Health Strategy: Risk factors and future cost implications. The Conference Board of Canada
  • 1 in 4 Canadian adults are obese.  *Source: PHAC/ CIHI. (2011). Obesity in Canada: A joint report from the public health agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. ISBN: 978-1-100-18133-2.
  • Physical inactivity is the number one factor contributing to the obesity of men and women. Inactivity is more strongly associated obesity among women than men.  *Source: PHAC/ CIHI. (2011). Obesity in Canada: A joint report from the public health agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. ISBN: 978-1-100-18133-2.
  • Results indicate that 405,000 cases of male obesity and 646,000 cases of female obesity could be averted if all individuals in our country obtained the recommended levels of physical activity.  *Source: PHAC/ CIHI. (2011). Obesity in Canada: A joint report from the public health agency of Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information. ISBN: 978-1-100-18133-2.
  • According to the Canadian Health Measures Survey, only 15% of Canadian adults get the recommended levels of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity (MVPA) per week.  *Source: Colley,R.C., Garriguet,D., Janssen,I., Craig, C.L., Clarke, J., & Tremblay, M.S. (2011). Physical activity of Canadian Adults: Accelerometer data from the 2007to2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Statistics Canada, Health Reports, 22 (1), Catalogue no. 82-003-XPE
  • Canadian adult participation in sport declined from 45% in 1992 to 28% in 2005.  *Source: Ifedi, F. (2008). Sport participation in Canada, 2005. Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics. Vol. Catalogue no. 81-595-MIE – No. 060: Statistics Canada
  • Physical activity appears to reduce the risk of over 25 chronic conditions, including coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, breast cancer, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.  *Source: Warburton, D. E. R., Katzmarzyk, P. T., Rhodes, R. E., & Shephard, R. J. (2007). Evidence-informed physical activity guidelines for Canadian adults. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 32(S2E) S16-S68
  • Fit individuals who are obese have a lower risk of all-cause mortality than do unfit normal-weight or lean individuals. Fit adults outlived the unfit regardless of their obesity levels or weight.  *Source: Sui, X. LaMonte, M. J., Laditka, J. N. Hardin, J. W.,Chase, N., Hooker, S. P., & Blair, S. N. (2007). Cardiorespiratory fitness and adiposity as mortality predictors in older adults. Journal of the American Medical Association, 298(21) 2507-2516

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The following exert is from the Movember Canada website… sign up for your own MOVE event today!

Why MOVE? Sitting is the new smoking! The more you sit, the poorer your health can get

We love to sit – in cars, at the desk, on the couch, at the game. New research is showing that sitting and inactivity are linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and depression. Our bodies are designed to move; when we sit for extended periods it causes your body to shut down at the metabolic level.

  • When your muscles (especially certain leg muscles) aren't moving, your circulation slows, using less of your blood sugar and burning less fat.
  • Men who sit more than six hours a day have an 18% increased risk of dying from heart disease and a 7.8% increased chance of dying from diabetes compared with someone who sits for three hours or less a day. ⌃
  • In 2013, more deaths will be attributed to physical inactivity (5.3 million) than smoking (5 million). *
  • Today's 10-year-olds are the first generation expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. *

This is why we have to take action and get our Mo’s moving!

SIGN UP to MOVE this Movember by hosting or attending an active event or making a month-long pledge. Run, swim, surf, spin…the sky’s the limit. Get MOVING.

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Sitting is killing you! (the truth about sitting down)

sitting is killing you infographic

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