A killer is lurking right under your seat

A killer is lurking right under your seat

One of the things we like about our name, Screaming Garlic, is the connotation of health. Screaming is a good way to get things off your chest and release pent up energy. And Garlic, of course, has a long list of health benefits not to mention the ability to ward off vampires and unwanted kisses.

But this New Yorker article by Susan Orlean there’s a silent killer affecting all of us, and it’s something we encounter every day of our lives. Once you read the highlights below, you may never be able to sit again.

The Walking Alive written by Susan Orlean for The New Yorker magazine:

Dr. James Levine, the leading researcher in the field of “inactivity studies” at the Mayo Clinic first began thinking about walking in 1999, after he conducted a study at the Mayo Clinic about why some people seemed more prone to gain weight while others seemed immune, even when they ate exactly the same amount. The study concluded that people who stayed thin managed to increase what Levine calls “non-exercise actvity thermogenesis”; that is, they moved throughout the day, fidgeting, pacing, standing, bouncing on the balls of their feet, and jiggling their legs. This activity ended up accounting for a slow burn of as much as eight hundred extra calories.

Subsequent research by Levine and other, was even more surprising. Sitting a lot, even if you’re in good shape, is bad. If you to the gym three times a week, you may feel fit, but you won’t be metabolically healthy. Sitting puts muscles into a sort of hibernation, cutting off their electrical activity and shutting down the production of liproprotien lipase, the enzyme that breaks down fat molecules in the blood. Your metabolic rate drops to about one calorie a minute — just slightly higher than if you were dead. Sitting for more than two hours causes the presence of good cholesterol to drop, and in time, insulin effectiveness plummets. This can lead to cardiovascular problems, certain kinds of cancer, depression, deep=vein thrombosis, and type-2 diabetes. There is even speculation that being moderately active — that is, not sitting — can delay the progression of pre-dementia to dementia.

The worst news is that hard exercise for an hour a day may not cancel out the damage done by sitting for six hours. According to a 2006 study by an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, men who sit for six hours or more daily have an over-all death rate twenty percent higher than men who sit for three hours or less — in other words, they are twenty percent more likely to day of any cause than men who are active.

For women, sitting is especially unhealthy: women who sit more than six hours a day die at a rate that’s forty percent higher than that for women who move more.

Bottom line: Get up, stay up and keep moving.

Michael Klausner
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