I've been fond of the statement that movement is a necessary "nutrient" the human body absolutely requires to be able to express health. You can eat salads all day long, but you will not be as healthy as you should be if you're not moving.
New research that was published in this month of the British Medical Journal looked at the effect sitting had on life expectancy, and if they could get a number of years lost due to sitting. They did find this number.
The number they extrapolated was 2 years. TWO YEARS! If you want to extend your life two years, keep your daily sitting to less than 3 hours/day. I know, that's hard. Have you ever timed how much you sit in an average day? I'm aware of this fact, but between sitting here, writing this blog, typing up patient notes, sitting and taking histories of patients, and the ritual daily commute in my car (sitting, of course), I'm sitting WAY more than 3 hours per day... and it's killing me.
In another study done by researchers at Harvard, and published in The Lancet, it was estimated that sedentary living kills 1 in 10 people. A tithing of death given to those who use not the body they've been blessed with. (I'm being sarcastic, but a 10% effect is nothing to be joking about.)
To give us some perspective, let's compare sitting to something we're familiar with. You all know smokers, right? You probably ask yourself, How could they do that? They're killing themselves! You know they usually die earlier, you know they have heart problems more than others, and you can pick one out from a crowd by just the way they sound when they cough.
With all that said, I'm going to leave this computer now and walk around my office, maybe even do some push-ups in a hidden corner. Cheers!