Don’t just sit there, do something!

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BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) published a study today emphasizing the perils of a sedentary life.  The key message?  “…Life expectancy in the USA would be 2.00 years higher if adults reduced their time spent sitting to under 3 hours/day…”

The study was based on data from a survey of Americans about their health habits, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  Looking at answers to questions about sitting and watching TV, researchers were then able to use other studies which linked sitting to shortened life expectancy to come up with an estimate of the years of life lost, just by sitting.

You can read the article at http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/4/e000828.full.pdf+html.

Which is as good an introduction as I could hope to find for this blog.  I’m a family physician, practicing in the eastern United States.  While I’m often honored by the faith it seems that many people have in the abilities of “modern medicine” to correct problems and cure illness, it’s far more accurate to say that external help — health care professionals, medications, surgery — can only do so much.  To a large extent, health is the result of the choices we make every day: to be active instead of sedentary, to eat nutritious food rather than empty calories, to spend time with people we care about.

I’m not perfect; none of us are.  It’s my hope that if I can help you know the research and the science, you’ll be able to make choices you’ll feel good about now — and better about in years to come.

(Image: ‘Free Child Walking on White Round Spheres+Balance+Creative+Commonshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/40645538@N00/233228813)