Is too much sitting taking years off your life?
In tonight's Healthier Me, obesity researcher Dr. James Levine says sitting at your desk all day is a lethal activity.
Levine treats obesity at the Mayo Clinic, one of the country's premiere research hospitals, and his research has turned our thinking about exercise on its head; while daily exercise was once considered the perfect prescription for good health, Dr. Levine's research has now showed us that exercise alone cannot undo the damage done by sitting all day.
Levine: "It appears that what is critical -- and maybe even more important than going to the gym -- is breaking up that sitting time."
Natalie Morales, reporting: "So, you say sitting is toxic?"
Levine: "Sitting all day long. It's an unnatural way for us to be. It's almost like [...] owning a really cool sports car and letting it idle all day long. The engine gets gunked."
Why? It's because your metabolism comes to a dead stop while sitting; the body's calorie-burning rate plummets; fat and cholesterol levels rise.
But fear not! Levine has a simple solution for those of us who feel chained to our desks all day long:
Levin: "What I say to my patient, 'if you're sitting for an hour, it's too long.' So, [...] to me, the simple prescription is up and moving ten minutes every hour."
You can see Natalie's full report on Rock Center with Brian Williams, January 10 at 9pm.