MOST OF US ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO
“SITTING DISEASE.” HERE’S WHAT
WE CAN DO ABOUT IT.
According to Dr. David Harper, Canadians’ sedentary be-haviour
could put our health at risk as much as smoking
The Mississauga, Ont.-based chiropractic sports and
occupational health and corporate wellness specialist has a strong
warning for office workers, in particular.
“Sitting disease is the most significant iconic modifiable risk fac-tor
for all chronic non-communicable disease across all ethnicities
and age demographics in Canada,” he said. “There’s literature to
suggest that if you sit for more than three hours a day, you increase
the risk of cardiovascular disease and early death.”
WHAT IS SITTING DISEASE?
Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Dr. James Levine may have been
among the first in the medical community to name the condition
that is one of the common denominators of myriad chronic, non-communicable
health & wellness
■■ Type 2 diabetes
■■ Cardiovascular disease
■■ Some forms of cancer
■■ Back and neck pain
■■ Blood clots
■■ Digestive problems
“Research suggests that when we spend long periods of time in
one position, there are changes even at a cellular level,” said Harper.
While there is no official medical consensus on what consti-tutes
a “limit” for how many hours a day puts you in the range of
the risk of sitting disease, it’s safe to say that office workers who
spend the majority of their workday in a chair may be putting
themselves at risk.
And here’s the kicker: a recent study out of England’s University
of Leicester suggests that active, physically fit people who sit for
several hours a day are at an equal level of risk as sedentary people
By Heather Hudson
HRPATODAY.CA ❚ JULY/AUGUST 2014 ❚ 47