American Heart Association says sitting’s as unhealthy as smoking

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

walking dog
Nothing like taking the dog for a walk and enjoying the wild blue beyond.

Being a couch potato is as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes, according to the American Heart Association! If you think having a Netflix overdose session on the sofa or online gaming marathon on the PC is safe, think again.

Four hours of sitting is the danger zone, which is why USC professor of medicine Dr. David Agus recommends, “Every half hour, just get up and walk for four or five minutes, get up and move – the more over time you move, the better.” Also, if someone thinks they can just pop into the gym for an intense session after sitting down at school or work all day, that’s just not good enough. It’s about moving frequently throughout the day!

Even little things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking instead of taking the bus can help people improve their health. Why is moving so important? It’s all about human evolution. Agus explains, “Humans have evolved over millions of years and our lymphatics that control our immune system have no muscle in their walls, so it’s the rhythmic contraction of the muscles in your leg when you walk that actually make your body work. We were designed to move. We were engineered so that movement would make our body work.”

Now, walking is just a simple suggestion, and Agus is by no means saying that going to the gym is bad. The main point he’s trying to make is that you need to move around at least a little bit, more often during the day. So, whether you’re a sitter, a gymrat, or somewhere in between, get up and rev that wonderful engine that is your body.

Featured image courtesy of Banalities on Flickr. Image of dog walker courtesy of Natesh Ramasamy on Flickr.