Does Sitting Harm Your Health?

Recent studies show that sitting for most of the day can cause an early death.

For most of us, that is not good news.  We sit in the car on the way to work. We sit behind a desk much of the day. We’re back in the car on the ride home. Then we veg out on the sofa and watch TV.

Click the item in the table below to skip to your most pressing question, or continue to read the whole article.

Turn off those TVs and computers!

People who watch over 3 hours of TV daily are two times more likely to die in the next few years than those who watch little TV. Turn those TVs off and take a walk!

Another study showed that people who watch TV, work on a computer, or play video games for more than 4 hours per day increase their risk of heart attack and stroke by 113%! They also have a 50% increased risk of death from any other cause when compared to those who spend than 2 hours per day on those activities.

How much sitting is too much?Sitting

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Prolonged sitting is a relatively recent trend. Years ago, people got up at dawn, labored most of the day, then after a brief sitting spell, they went to bed.

Today the average person sits for 8 – 15 hours per day. We instinctively know it is not good for us. We rush to the gym to get exercise so that we don’t get the myriad of diseases plaguing our society – obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or heart attacks.

But now studies show that even if you go to the gym or have regular exercise, it won’t offset the damage done by sitting too much.

What are the risks of sitting too much?

In a recent Canadian study, researchers found that people who sat for long periods of time risked dying sooner from various causes.  Sitting was not associated with one particular disease.

Even when people exercised for an hour per day, those who spent most of their day sitting had a greater incidence of death from all causes.

Sitting disease is a contributor to the widespread health problems facing us today, including heart disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, depression, etc. according to James Levine, M.D., Ph.D. at the Mayo Clinic. “The term “Sitting Disease” has been coined by the scientific community and is commonly used when referring to metabolic syndrome and the ill-effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.“JustStandInfoGraphic

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In a review of 47 studies that looked 830,000 health related deaths, researchers examined the association between sitting and death. They found that people who are sedentary were 24% more likely to die during the 1-16 year study period than those who were not.

These same researchers found that prolonged sitting caused a 17% to 18% increase in death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. They also found a 13% to 14% increase in cancer and heart disease, and a whopping 91% increase in Type 2 diabetes.

Why would sitting cause heart disease?

When you sit for long periods of time, you are not using your muscles, so you burn less fat and your blood circulation slows down.  This is not good because fatty acids build up and can clog the heart. According to Martha Grogan, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, the risk of cardiovascular disease from a sedentary lifestyle poses just as much of a risk as smoking.

Circulatory problems in the legs also develop. The slower blood flow causes blood to pool in the legs, leading to swollen ankles and even blood clots.

How could sitting cause Type 2 diabetes?

Your pancreas makes insulin, which is a hormone secreted into the bloodstream to adjust your blood sugar level. If you are sitting, your muscles don’t respond easily to insulin, so the pancreas will make more insulin.  This becomes a vicious cycle, leading to Type 2 diabetes.

Is there a link between sitting and cancer?

Sitting has been associated with several forms of cancer. It is known that sugar feeds cancer Since your pancreas is working overtime making insulin, and if you are sitting it doesn’t use it properly, then blood sugar levels build up in the body. This could be the culprit.

It is known that oxygen kills cancer.  When you are sitting, you are not getting much oxygen into your bloodstream. So cancer cells can easily multiply.

Conclusion

While sitting causes lots of other problems, such as muscle degeneration and osteoporosis, the deadliness of sitting has been proven. People are opting for standing desks, treadmill desks, and are finding other ways of avoiding prolonged sitting at work.

Take a walk at lunch, stand while talking on the phone, do something that changes your position frequently throughout the day.

At home, get up during the commercials and walk to the next room.  A study done at the University of Utah found that if you get up once every hour and walk for two minutes you can increase your lifespan by over 30%.

Why are Food Allergies Becoming More Common?

Allergic reactions happen when the immune system tries to fight a foreign thing that gets into your body. This fight typically is for bacteria and viruses that cause you to get sick. It is the body’s way of fighting infections.

In the case of an allergy, the person has an abnormal reaction to a typically harmless thing, such as milk. Chemicals are released to fight what the body sees as something that shouldn’t be there, and this causes the symptoms we call an allergy. These symptoms vary widely – hives, coughing, or swelling to name a few.

Click the item in the table below to skip to your most pressing question, or continue to read the whole article.

Which food allergies are most common?

The most common allergic reactions are to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. 

Are food allergies on the rise?

Not that long ago, there was virtually no one who was allergic to dairy, gluten, or most any other food. Today, about 15 million Americans have some kind of food allergy. Everything we buy is labeled due to the fear that someone will have an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients.

According to the CDC, children’s food allergies increased by 50% from 1997 to 2011.

Where are all these food allergies coming from? It is doubtful that people have evolved into highly allergic beings in such a short time span. So logic says that something has changed to cause these allergies.

One thing that has changed drastically is our food supply.

How has our food changed?Food supply

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Years ago, food was mostly grown close to home. People relied on local produce. They often had a small garden if they lived outside of a city. Meat, pork, and poultry were raised locally, fed natural grains and/or grasses, and given no hormones or antibiotics. Fish were caught commercially, not farm raised. Dairies were local, with mom and pop milking morning and night. Eggs were from someone’s yard.

In big cities, local farmers brought their meat, produce, and other food to distribution points where grocers and other food suppliers would purchase it and offer it in their stores.

Now most produce on grocer’s shelves has come 1500-2500 miles and is at least a week old. Apples are often a year old!

Meat is primarily raised in feed lots, with many animals crowded into small spaces.  Antibiotics are used to fight disease. Dairies are notoriously filthy and the cows are diseased. Fish are farm raised, again with large numbers in small ponds.

Most food served at home was real – made from scratch. The food that was preserved was done naturally, such as meat cured with salt, not nitrates. The food we eat today often comes out of a box and is full of chemical additives and preservatives, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and glyphosate.

Restaurants cooked food from scratch, with most being locally owned and operated. Fast food restaurants were not on every corner. In fact, many of the fast food chains of today had barely gotten started.

Got Milk?Milk

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Milk is the number one food allergy in America today.

In order to increase milk production, in 1994 dairy companies started injecting cows with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). This a genetically engineered protein that had no human trials to prove it was safe.

After the introduction of rBGH, cows began to have more disease. Instead of fixing that problem, large doses of antibiotics were given to the cows. A different topic for another time, but this has led to antibiotic-resistant superbugs that are now plaguing us.

Over 30 countries don’t use rBGH because it has not been tested and proven safe for use. But, as with other GMOs and questionable things added to our food supply, the U.S. has decided since it has not been proven un-safe, it is ok.

rBGH is in milk, butter, cheese and is consumed daily by many millions of Americans. Yet it has only been tested on rats for a very short period of time.  

The other thing that has changed in our dairy supply is that mom and pop no longer milk the cows.  The dairy industry is big business with concentrated animal feeding operations. This means lots of animals in filthy, crowded spaces. They are no longer pasture raised but fed GMO corn laced with chemical additives.

The inhumane treatment of dairy cows causes them to be stressed and sick. Cows are usually culled before they are 3 years old. They are injected with all sorts of hormones including pituitary, hypothalamic, thyroid, steroids, and a myriad of other substances. And all this gets passed on to you!

Large dairy farms are not only inhumane but are pretty dirty too. Today’s milk usually contains pus, blood, and feces.  No wonder it has to be pasteurized. The average glass of milk contains 322 million puss cells. And the USDA allows up to 1.5 million white blood cells per milliliter of milk

Got Milk? Yes, but what else is in it?

What foods contain additives and preservatives?Prepackaged foods

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Prepackaged food was introduced to Americans after World War II.  It began with military food, which was designed for long-term storage and was easy to prepare.  With more and more women entering the workforce in the late 60s to early 70s, these prepackaged meals became a staple of the working mom.

Today the typical American spends most of their food budget on packaged or processed foods. These should really be called food-like substances, as they have been chemically treated or altered in some way before they make it to our tables.

Most of these prepackaged food-like substances contain additives and preservatives. Pure and simple, all additives are chemicals, and nearly all preservatives used today are chemicals. Read the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce something, it’s an additive or preservative.

Additives are typically flavorings, colorings, and added vitamins and minerals. Preservatives are added to extend the shelf life since packaged food is often not used for months or years.

Most people think that the FDA protects us from unhealthy additives and preservatives.  But that is not necessarily true. While the FDA does list some additives as approved, many that are in use have never been approved by the FDA.

Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) is a term used by the FDA when a substance added to food is generally considered safe. This term is used for many additives, preservatives, dyes, etc. in packaged food that have never been tested.  Instead, they are just believed to be ok.

There is seldom one additive or preservative.  Instead, we are given a chemical soup, and there are few, if any, studies to show the effects of possible interactions of all of these various chemicals. Nor are there any studies to show the cumulative effect of all these chemicals in our food.

In 2010, one study concluded that kids who eat junk food have more allergies than those who eat a more traditional diet.

When did GMOs become popular and what foods are they in?GMO2

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A GMO is developed in a lab with genes from the DNA of one species put into the genes of a different plant or animal. These genes come from bacteria, viruses, plants, or animals.

The first GMO was approved by the FDA in 1994. However, they really started taking off in 1996, when Monsanto developed plants that were resistant to Round-Up (glyphosate). By 1999, over 100 million acres were planted with GMO seeds.

They are now the primary feed for cattle, pigs, and fish. They are also in almost all packaged or processed foods.

Wheat, soybeans, corn, and canola (which is made from rapeseed) are the most prevalent GMO crops. While banned in many countries, the U.S. does not even require that they be labeled. Unless you eat foods labeled “organic”, you are getting a big dose of bacteria and/or virus DNA from insects, animals, or who knows what.

Interesting is that shortly after GMOs were added, allergies began to rise.  Coincidence?  Possibly, but many don’t think so.

Recall from above that an allergic reaction occurs when the body senses something foreign invading your system. So it is highly believable that since a GMO introduces a new protein which the body might have never seen before, it will react as if fighting a virus or bacteria, creating allergy symptoms.

Jeffrey Smith, Executive Director Institute of Responsible Technology says, “Levels of one known soy allergen, trypsin inhibitor, were up to seven times higher in cooked GM soy compared to cooked non-GM soy. Another study discovered a unique, unexpected protein in GM soy, likely to trigger allergies. In addition, of eight human subjects who had a skin-prick (allergy-type) reaction to GM soy, one did not also react to non-GM soy, suggesting that GM soy is uniquely dangerous.” Yet it is fed to the animals we eat and is in nearly all packaged food.

In the book, “Genetic Roulette”, Jeffery Smith states, “In 1992, the Food and Drug Administration claimed they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different from conventionally grown foods. Therefore they are safe to eat, and absolutely no safety studies were required. But internal memos made public by a lawsuit reveal that their position was staged by political appointees who were under orders from the White House to promote GMOs. In addition, the FDA official in charge of creating this policy was Michael Taylor, the former attorney for Monsanto, the largest biotech company, and later their vice president. In reality, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.”

In a 1999 study, researchers found that allergic reactions to soy had increased 50% from the prior year. The soy used in this study was genetically modified.

As stated above, GMOs have not been tested by the FDA. Instead, they are like many additives and preservatives, considered GRAS.

Specifically with respect to GMOs, Theresa Eisenman, spokeswoman for the FDA states, “it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure that the [GMO] food products it offers for sale are safe…”  

The FDA has not required any independent safety testing for GMOs. Companies present their studies to the FDA, and surprisingly, they don’t even have to submit the complete study. Summary data is acceptable for the FDA to review.

If you think the FDA is safeguarding your health, think again.  Without the complete study and associated data, how could they possibly determine if the study was valid and the product is safe?

And even if they submitted the complete study and all the associated data, it is well known that industry-funded studies are more likely to have positive findings. In most, if not all industries, negative findings are suppressed.

There have been no human studies that prove GMOs are safe – PERIOD. There is no data to show if they cause illness, allergies, or anything else. The data is just not there.

We repeat, it is a BIG coincidence that allergies have been on the rise since GMOs were introduced into our food supply.  More and more GMOs in our food just happens to coincide with more and more allergies.

Are glyphosate and pesticides in our food?

Coincidentally there is a similar thing going on with glyphosate and other pesticides in our food supply.

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has stated that the FDA’s testing of pesticide levels is not statistically valid, nor adequate to say our food is safe.

And since most GMO crops were developed to be resistant to glyphosate, we get a double whammy. Unknown effects of GMOs in crops which are now doused with chemicals.

What is glyphosate, and where is it used? 

Glyphosate

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Monsanto introduced glyphosate in 1974. It is a weed killer and started being used extensively on food crops when Monsanto developed glyphosate resistant plants in 1996. Farmers could now spray their fields with glyphosate to kill the weeds, but not their crops.

Between 1987 and 2012, farm use of glyphosate in the U.S. grew from 11 million to 300 million pounds.

Again, the timing is coincidental with the rise in allergies in the U.S.

Today, it is literally sprayed on every corn and soy crop, and in some areas, it is used to kill wheat just before harvest, so that it is easier to harvest. Some believe that the explosion of wheat allergies and gluten intolerance is really an allergy to glyphosate.

A 2012 study showed that people who were exposed to Dichlorophenols (DCPs) were more likely to develop allergies. DCPs are found in pesticides, herbicides, and chlorine used to purify drinking water.

The U.S government doesn’t test food for glyphosate residues, nor does it monitor for that chemical in people. So we really have no idea how much people are exposed to or how much is getting into our bodies.

But, we do know that glyphosate residue has been found in 90 percent of soybeans sampled. It has also been found in 70 percent of rainfall samples. This is a really scary statistic. Not only is on the plants, and in the food we eat, but now it is in our water supply.

What has caused allergies to rise?

The bottom line: While there is no single scientific study that concludes exactly what causes food allergies, there are several smoking guns, all held in the hands of our food supply and pointed at us!Smoking gun

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About the only way to avoid those smoking guns is to eat organically grown food. Organically grown means, “grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.”

Want to avoid allergies? Try eating the way people ate 50 years ago. Fresh, organic, real food with no chemicals or GMOs.

How Does Exercise Affect Your Brain?

We all know how exercise helps your body, but what about your brain? Logic would say since your brain is a part of your body, exercise should help there too, and it does.

From a personal point of view, you know you feel better and sleep better when you exercise regularly. Are you also happier? More relaxed? In a better mood?

You read a lot about superfoods, packed with great things for your body, such as quinoa, kale, coconut oil, or salmon. But what is the best superfood for your brain? EXERCISE!! Continue reading

Concept 2 Model D Rowing Machine Review

CrossFit® training has become very popular in recent years.  This type of overall training is a core strength and toning program.  It is designed to optimize strength, stamina, endurance, and other key components of complete, total body exercise and conditioning for any age or fitness level.

One key component of Crossfit training is rowing. The reason is that it simulates so many core movements of your body and uses so many muscles.

Rowing is full body movement that exercises every muscle group in your body. Whether your goal is to get fit, lose weight, or both, a rowing machine can help get you there. Continue reading

Schwinn 230 Recumbent Bike Review

Overview

There are a lot of different exercise bikes on the market. Which is best is really a matter of personal preference, and what your fitness goals and needs are.

While we love the Schwinn 230, it might not be the right bike for you.

Different needs and wants will drive you to the right stationery bicycle so, we will take a minute to tell you a little about indoor cycling bikes before we get into the review. Continue reading

What are the Best Elliptical Machines for Home Use?

Are you overweight, out of shape, and feeling tired? Are you overworked, out of time, and can’t make it to the gym?

Do you have an injury? Are you getting older? Do you want something with low impact?

And finally, do you need help to figure out what the best machines are for losing weight and getting in shape?

Then it is time to look at ellipticals, and we can help.

Continue reading

What is the Best Treadmill for Running?

Like to run or compete, but you can’t always get to the gym? Does the weather often interrupt your training? Are you worried about the pounding your joints take on asphalt or concrete? Do you have children, and need to be at home most nights? Do you live in the suburbs or a city, and don’t want to be out at night because of dogs, drivers, or even muggers? Continue reading