Too Much Sitting Increases Health Risks

August 23, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. diabetes (n.) [dahy-uh-bee-tis] – a disease caused by high sugar level in the blood
Example: My mother’s friend has been suffering from diabetes since she was 22 years old.

2. drawback (n.) [draw-bak] – disadvantage or inconvenience of something
Example: The drawback of the new company policy is that it doesn’t offer discounted prices to loyal customers.

3. idle (adj.) [ahyd-l] – not working or doing something; not in use
Example: My nephews were left idle in the house yesterday when their parents went to the grocery.

4. sedentary (adj.) [sed-n-ter-ee] – requiring a sitting position
Example: Office work is usually sedentary.

5. self-esteem (n.) [self-i-steem] – feeling of self- respect and personal worth
Example: Positive comments from our manager increase our self-esteem.

Read the text below.
Research reveals that spending too much time sitting down can be dangerous. This increases the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and death from other causes.

According to Mark Tremblay, director at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, being healthy requires people to not just increase physical activity but to decrease inactivity as well. 

 One of the drawbacks of sitting down is that the body burns only a few calories. Sitting also makes it easier for us to eat than when we are doing physical activities. Frank Booth, a professor at the University of Missouri -Columbia, said that when the muscles are idle after a meal, they do not take up enough sugar from the blood. As a result, most of the sugar stays in the blood, which may lead to diabetes.

A sedentary lifestyle also has negative effects on mental health. In a related study, active children have higher self- esteem and better performance in school compared to less active children. Other researches have also connected inactivity to adult depression.

However, some activities done while sitting may lessen harmful effects. Tremblay suggests that challenging mental activities, even if done while sitting down, reduce the chance of eating because the hands are kept busy. To avoid the risks from too much sitting, experts advise people to reduce their chair time and stand up at least once every 15 minutes or so. 

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Do you often stand up and walk while you are at home or in the workplace?
·         How often do you think should people exercise or engage in physical activities?

Discussion B

·         What are the types of jobs common in your country?
·         What type of jobs do you think are not sedentary?

August 23, 2011