Is it Fair to Compare Sitting with Smoking?

Comparing Sitting with Smoking - Right/Wrong?

Is Sitting as dangerous as Smoking?

You’ve always known that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to ill health. But have you ever thought that the seemingly inevitable act of sitting would one day be dubbed as the ‘new smoking?’ Well, a lot of studies imply exactly that. Is there any truth in it? Or is it mere exaggeration? Zing Up Life delves into the problem to find out why sitting is regarded as the new smoking.


The dichotomy  

Like everything else, here too we have contrasting views. First, let’s examine the view that states ‘sitting is the new smoking.’


The ‘sitting equals smoking’ view

Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, is attributed to have coined ‘sitting is the new smoking.’ He has been extensively researching on the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle and is the inventor of the treadmill desk. Here is how he sums up the adverse effects of sitting:”Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

Shocking, isn’t it? Hold on. What is even more shocking is the revelation that the effects of sitting are not reversible. Yes, even if you adopt good eating habits or hit the gym, the damage is irreversible.


The counterview

Having thrown light on the argument that sitting is bad for you, let’s now examine the counterview. Sitting per se is not risky, argues those who oppose comparing sitting with smoking. What adds risk to sitting is the ‘type and context of sitting’. Let’s examine what exactly this means.

We sit at work, to watch a performance, or while travelling. There’s enough evidence that states “not all sitting is equal.” There is no stronger evidence to show that sitting down at work is linked with long-term health risks. However, sitting in front of TV for longer hours can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, or even worse, an early death.

While more sitting at work hints at higher status jobs and higher socioeconomic position, it’s not the case with people who sit around longer hours and watch a lot of TV. They tend to be from the poorer strata of society with poorer mental health and unhealthy food habits. They also end up watching a lot of unhealthy food advertising.


Our take

Of course, both camps have interesting viewpoints. At Zing Up Life, we always take our stance loud and clear. And here it comes. A sedentary lifestyle contributes to ill health, period. So, get out of the couch, work out, eat healthy and stay happy. We’ve developed an app that helps you attain your fitness goals.

And when we say fitness, we don’t merely mean physical fitness, but mental, emotional and sexual well being as well. You can download the ZingUpLife app here and take the first step towards good health. You can also follow us on social media as we come out with latest fitness research studies for you and as we update our app on those lines. Hoping to see you in good health and high spirits and looking forward to hearing from you.

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About Arun Meethale Chirakkal

Arun Meethale Chirakkal

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