Is Sitting the New Smoking?

By Lucas Nunes Rabello, PT, SFMA, Physical Therapist at Orlando Health

All the hours you spend sitting could be shortening the hours of your life. The outcry against sitting has become so loud that some equate it with the uproar smoking prompted in previous generations. 

Studies have linked prolonged sitting to obesity, increased blood pressure and a higher risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Sitting for long periods also is bad for the musculoskeletal system. We’re more likely to slouch, creating poor posture that can lead to health issues from headaches to low back pain. 

Breaking the Sitting Habit

Most of us spend time in situations where sitting for long periods is the norm. But there are ways to break this harmful pattern.

  • Use a standing desk to move from sitting to standing throughout the day.
  • Set a timer to take breaks every 30 minutes and walk down the hallway or stretch.
  • Have walking or standing meetings.
  • At your desk, stand up and walk around while on an audio call.
  • At home, use commercial breaks to get up from the couch and complete quick tasks or exercises.
  • If you use public transportation, stand up instead of rushing to open seats. 

Concerned about how sitting is affecting your health? Go to to find a physician nearby.