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Dr. Murray Feingold

Dr. Murray Feingold: Does a sedentary lifestyle make you prone to disease?

Many people live a sedentary lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Because of their occupation, they have to sit behind a desk all day. With the advent of computers, fewer people are up and about. Salespeople, truck drivers, taxi drivers and others may have to spend a great deal of time driving.

We have become a much more sedentary society than ever before. Unfortunately, health issues are associated with this lack of activity. What can be done to help prevent the health ravages of so much inactivity?

To find an answer, researchers evaluated 47 studies that were done to determine if engaging in physical activity counteracted the dire health effects of being sedentary.

Sedentary activity was defined as having very little physical activity and participating in low energy expenditure activities such as sitting for prolonged periods of time.

The researchers determined that being sedentary was associated with a host of medical problems including an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

What effect did exercise have on developing these serious medical maladies?

Results showed that increase exercise “blunted,” but did not eliminate the risk of developing these medical problems.

The authors concluded that exercising one hour a day does not provide the piece of mind to remain seated for the rest of the day.

The conclusion is, to stay healthy you have to change your lifestyle. To work at your computer does not mean you are limited to sitting behind a desk. Visit an office equipment store and you will find various types of furniture that allow you to stand while doing your office work.

You don’t have sit at your desk to answer many phone calls. Take a walk while chatting with a business associate.

Take more breaks during the day. And the list goes on.

You are certainly aware that there is more to staying healthy than just increasing your physical activity, such as eating a proper diet and trying to get rid of the stress in your life.

There is no question that for most people, it’s not easy to lead a healthy lifestyle, and even if you do, it does not insure you that you won’t be struck down with some esoteric non-preventable disease.

But overall, it does increase your odds of living a longer and healthier life.

Massachusetts-based Dr. Murray Feingold is the physician in chief of The Feingold Center for Children and president of the Genesis Fund. The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that funds the care of children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases. More Content Now.

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