Interesting article in The Australian this morning. It cites a report from the American Journal of Public Health (Evaluating the Evidence on Sitting, Smoking, and Health: Is Sitting Really the New Smoking?) suggesting that sitting isn’t as bad as smoking. In doing so, it notes that an excessively sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of premature death by 10-20%. I’d make two observations.
Firstly, smoking is a global public health disaster, the impact of which we will most likely not realise for decades to come, particularly in less developed nations. Comparing the two was nothing more than the media picking up on a smart catch phrase. The report doesn’t hold back when noting that ‘news coverage of any health risk influences the knowledge and perceptions not only of the general public but also health care professionals. Conflicting or distorted information regarding health benefits and risks of personal behavioural choices can lead to confusion and doubt with respect to important health recommendations.’
Secondly, there is a growing body of evidence which focuses less on the soundbite, and more on the opportunities to improve health outcomes. And it’s really no more than providing opportunities for people to move throughout the day.
I won’t hold my breath waiting - that would be bad for my health - though perhaps one day the headline will read Movement - better than both sitting and smoking.
Enjoy your day
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