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Healthcare Key Findings: April 2013

Sit at Your Own Risk!

sit at your own riskSedentary lifestyles have long been associated with poor health. However, a growing body of “inactivity research” indicates sitting for long periods of time at work, added to the leisure time we now spend interacting with mobile devices, may pose more health threats than previously thought. In fact, “chair disease,” as it is being called, may be a greater health risk than smoking.  Those who sit the most have a 112% increased risk for diabetes and a 147% increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Surprisingly, experts also are finding that despite popular belief, we can’t erase the damage by going to the gym three times a week.  A study of TV habits in Australia found that for every hour of sitting and watching TV after age 25, one loses 22 minutes off expected lifespan; a person watching TV six hours a day could reduce lifespan by up to 5 years. Attempts to redesign workstations haven’t made much headway against the increasing number of neck, shoulder and lower back problems among workers, says Karin Griffiths, a health science faculty member at the University of Sydney. “The problem is nearly everything can be done from a desk — communications, research, file retrieval and even meetings.” Ergonomic desk chairs and even standing desks aren’t helping. Another researcher, Nicolas Gilson with the University of Queensland, says, ” We need to radically change the way we operate at work — changing posture from sitting to standing and moving during work tasks.” Gilson discourages internal email on the same floor, and suggests people stand while on the phone and hold meetings while standing or walking. ( and


  • American children get about 25% of their total vegetables in the form of potato chips and french fries. Adults eat an average of four servings of french fries a week. (
  • 80% of U.S. teenagers are eating diets that put them on a clear path to heart disease. (
  • Sugar sweetened beverage consumption was linked to 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 44,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 deaths from cancer. (
  • Women who used ibuprofen or acetaminophen two or more days a week increased their risk of hearing loss by up to 24%, depending on how much they took according to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. (
  • More than a quarter of Americans (26%) have government based health insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid, and military benefits. (Gallup; 202-715-3030)
  • More than four in 10 adults age 55 and older (44%) have asked a doctor for information about vitamins or supplements. Three percent of vitamins taken by US adults are in gummy form. (AccentHealth; 813-349-7100 & Church & Dwight; 609-683-5900)

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