According to the CDC, more than 25% of all American adults sit more than 8 hours a day. In fact, adults spend more time sitting and being couch potatoes than sleeping. That number increases even more for older adults; statistics show that 75% of older adults are sedentary.
Sitting too much can be very harmful to your health. Numerous research studies show that the more you move and stop sitting, the longer you will live. Sitting too much increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and early death.
What Happens to Your Body When You Sit?
- Electrical Activity in Leg Muscles Shuts Off
- Calorie Burning Drops to 1 per Minute
- Enzymes that Help Break Down Fat Drop by 90%
- Good Cholesterol Drops by 20%
- High Amounts of Stress are Placed on Your Lower Back and Neck
The World Health Organization suggests adults aged 65 years and above should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week. Regular physical activity of moderate intensity has significant benefits for health. At all ages, some physical activity is better than doing none. By becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways, people can quite easily achieve the recommended activity levels. Walking is the easiest form of exercise for older adults and swimming is a good option as well.
Therapy Can Help Aging Adults Stay Active & Independent
Exercise is extremely important in managing many common symptoms of aging. Physical therapists evaluate your needs and teach you how to exercise appropriately for joint mobility, muscle strength and fitness. Occupational therapists help older adults to safely do the things they want to do, stay active and live well despite limitations. Therapy can help with pain associated with sitting too much, address postural issues, and create strategies to get you moving more and sitting less.
References: World Health Organization, CDC, AARP.org