"Sitting Disease" a common malady that could lead to something worse

By: Shalah Sasse Email
By: Shalah Sasse Email

News 12 This Morning, January 28, 2008

AUGUSTA, Ga.-- Donald Peel spends 40 hours a week sitting at his computer at work.

"If you ask my back, it would say too much," Peel said.

Peel is the area manager for the Talking Phonebook in Augusta, and is always sitting. Whether it's at his desk, in his car, sitting with a client, or at home working on his laptop.

"There's not enough time in the day to get done what I need to get done," Peel said.

Doctors call it the "Sitting Disease." And although the name may sound funny, MCG Health Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine, Dr. Steven Greer says there are serious results from sitting disease, like obesity, lack of energy, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

"People who don't move around much use 5-600 less calories a day than people who move around as part of their day," Dr. Steven Greer said.

Dr. Greer says sitting disease is a lack of N.E.A.T. or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which is not exercising but your still doing some kind of activity that burns calories.

"When it gets dark at 5:30, when I walk out of here, the last, the hardest thing for me to do at that point is to go throw on some gym clothes and go work out," Peel said.

But even if your sitting at a desk all day, there are some easy things you can do without going to the gym.

Doctors suggest walking to lunch, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, pacing back and forth while taking on the phone, and when you go shopping or go to the grocery store, park far away so you can burn more calories walking in.

They're small steps, but Dr. Greer says they can make a big difference in your health.

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