Golden Goalies – Be happy, sit less


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At a recent meeting of Golden Goalies, Janice Cournoyer shared some news about the science related to sitting. I would have guessed that we’re all aware of the basics of sitting, but I came to realize I had a lot to learn. She told us that too much sitting might not be as bad as smoking, but in some ways, it can be almost as bad for our health. OK, I still wasn’t surprised, but its role in a number of diseases really caught my attention.

Focusing first on the positive, research shows that the more people MOVE throughout the day, the happier they are.

But if you’re not moving, you’re probably sitting. And “sitting” sounds innocuous, but think of it not as sitting but as the absence of muscle activity. And that lack of muscle activity is what results in negative effects at many levels, including metabolic. Inactivity can lead to:

* Back pain. No surprise there.

* Cancer. One review found that for every additional two hours per day spent sitting, the risk of colon cancer goes up 10%.

* Obesity, diabetes and heart trouble. With too much sitting, the ability of the hormone insulin to move glucose out of blood and into cells may decline. Research has shown that inactivity can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease by 14%. And it can nearly double your risk of diabetes.

* Blood clots. Women who sat more than 40 hours per week doubled their risk of a clot moving to their lungs compared to those who sat less than 10 hours.

* Weak bones. As we get older, we need weight-bearing exercise, including standing and walking, to replace old bone tissue with new and keep osteoporosis at bay.

Let me repeat that positive finding: Research shows that the more people move throughout the day, the happier they are. Words to live by.

Our weekly “therapy” session can focus on just about anything, and I found this one to be particularly full of important information. I was both surprised and concerned to learn that too much sitting is even bad for those who are dedicated to morning walks and workouts. I had to think about all of the hours of sitting I tend to do after 10:00 a.m. That was a wake-up call for me.

Join us for good company, laughs and ideas. You will also find support, motivation and shared wisdom. Weigh-in is Saturday from 7:00 to 7:40 a.m. in Room A-8, near the Cottonwood Library. The meeting starts after weigh-in. Contact Rita at 480-895-8340 for more information.