The Loh Down On Science

Good news - and bad news - about sitting all day

Are modern humans just lazy hunter-gatherers?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science, saying:

Evolutionarily, yes.  We evolved to move.  Sitting in an office?  Not so good for us.

A recent British study found that too much sitting increases the risk of diabetes and heart attacks. Death from all health-related causes increases 49 percent. Yuck!

What’s so wrong with sitting?  Well, it doesn’t burn many calories, for one.  And it suppresses an enzyme that converts bad cholesterol into good cholesterol.  Not to mention it may be a gateway drug for other bad habits, like eating too much junk food.

But wait a minute, you say, I work out every morning!  Sorry, but those gains are only temporary.  A couple of hours of sitting will put you back at square one.

So, will sitting go the way of carbs, sugar and everything else we enjoy?  No, we just need to do less of it.  Stand up every twenty minutes and take a two-minute walk.  Get the blood flowing, set those enzymes straight.

And hunt down a mammoth or don't come home!  Isn't there an app for that?

***** For more 90-SECOND SCIENCE FACTS, click here.*****

The Loh Down on Science is produced by LDOS Media Lab, in partnership with the University of California, Irvine, and 89.3 KPCC. And made possible by the generous support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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