Sitting Less May Add Years to Your Life

Being sedentary, which includes sitting for long periods of time, is being linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke. While it doesn't cause disease, it is a risk factor that can shave years off your life. Gordon Cook refuses to slow down. "I ride a bike, I rollerblade, I'm at the gym," says Cook. He's 81 years old and sitting around is not his style. Instead he hits the gym. "I'm there every day for at least two hours. And I do the bike, I do the treadmill, I do the elliptical and I do the weights and I do the rest of the machines," says Cook. Cook credits his good health to being constantly on the go. And he may be on to something. Studies show too much sitting around is shaving years off our lives. Researchers found the average American sits or is sedentary for 55 percent of their day. "You really don't burn any calories when you're sitting down. And a lot of people spend all day long at work sitting down. They may eat at their desk, so metabolically it's a really bad state," says Dr. Sal Lacagnina, Lee Memorial Health System's Vice President of Health and Wellness. The health implications didn't sit well with Dr. Lacagnina. An expert in wellness at Lee Memorial Health System, he moved up to a standing workplace. "A number of the other people in the organization got one and I recently got one myself to see how it would work out," says Dr. Lacagnina. New research finds restricting sitting time to less than three hours a day might boost our life expectancy an extra two years. Here are some simple tips to get you started - pace when you're on the phone, take a walk after meals, choose a counter seat at restaurants, and yes, try standing at work. "If you did a study to see how you felt at the end of the day by standing more, you probably will find that you're more productive and when you go home, you actually feel more invigorated," says Dr. Lacagnina. So take a lesson from Cook and don't just sit there. "I'm doing great"! View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/ Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we've been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit leememorial.org

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