A deadly sit-uation…

Recently, a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggested “too much sitting can be deadly.” All I could think to myself while reading about that was, “no $#!+! What did you think was going to be the result of that study?!”

After reading the article, it turns out that the study wasn’t covering sedentary lifestyles, but rather, it encompassed even those that lived an “active” life but were forced to sit for prolonged periods of time.

Granted, it really isn’t possible to avoid sitting still for hours on end while in school or at work (if you work in an office or similar environment), but the result of the study seemed ridiculous. The article stated, “research is preliminary, but several studies suggest people who spend most of their days sitting are more likely to be fat, have a heart attack or even die.”

Again, I find myself questioning the validity of this study. How active were the test subjects they reportedly included into this survey? If people are living a truly active lifestyle, unless they are eating junk food nonstop and take no pride in watching their body, then those are the people that are less likely to be “fat, have a heart attack or even die.”

I am one of the lucky ones that gets to sit for hours on end in class, drive 40 minutes just to take a train downtown for another half hour and then spend the rest of my day sitting on a typical work day; however, I usually watch what I eat, exercise regularly and really don’t spend that much time watching TV. Would I have been one of the people in the study that are going to become fat and have a heart attack? Possibly the latter, but I’m basing that mostly on the fact that I have a history of heart disease in my family, so I am unsure if I’m ready to buy into the findings of this study.

For the rest of the student population that do not fit into the same category as myself, I decided to bring out a few easy ways to avoid the fate that has just been handed to us by the brilliant minds in London.

Make sure to exercise at least two times a week.

Trust me, I fully understand the problems of having limited time on my hands, but it is possible to squeeze in an hour or two a week for exercise.  Consider the fact that we have 24 hours in a day where maybe only eight of which are spent in a classroom setting.  If you live at Lewis and have no job outside of campus, you’re in luck. Lewis has a great fitness center, albeit with somewhat unaccommodating hours for some of us, but it is a resource available to every student.

Even if the fitness center isn’t a feasible venue, there are simple exercises that can be done in your dorm room.  Consider doing pushups, squats or sit-ups. Already, you’ve gone from doing almost no exercise to what is considered to be a “light – moderate” amount, without even having to leave your room.

To the people working in addition to attending class full time, I feel your pain. Balancing a job, school and homework can easily create the feeling of being overburdened, but again, there is hope.

Unfortunately, the fitness center may be ruled out for you aside from the weekend hours, but you too can find some time to squeeze in some level of exercise.

Make better food choices, avoid “grazing” and eat regularly.

A lot of criticism has fallen on Lewis’ cafeteria for lacking healthy food options available, but heathier alternatives are available. Take a look in Charlie’s Place and you’ll find sub sandwiches, salads, wraps and a walk bar where you can get healthier foods than the traditional pizzas and french fries.

As for the “grazing” aspect, far too many people fall prey to eating constantly when they are bored or for any other reason. Instead of just eating randomly throughout the day and high sugar foods, go for snacks that will hold you over until your next meal.

Eating regularly throughout the day, and in small bursts, is the best way to keep your metabolism at a higher rate to avoid putting on excess pounds and increasing your health risks.

Most importantly, get your sleep!

The body rebuilds itself as it sleeps, so depriving yourself of a full night’s sleep is one of the worst things you can do. After exercising, be it lifting weights or just doing a little cardio, giving your body time to recover from the day allows for a healthier you.

If you follow common sense and watch what you eat, at least a little bit, the results of this study should only have a small bearing on your future. An active lifestyle obviously is going to be more advantageous than living a stationary life.

The Lewis Flyer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *