You May Not Smoke, But Studies Show Sitting Can Kill You Too

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Do you continue to be a couch potato, or are you doing something positive for your health?
Do you continue to be a couch potato, or are you doing something positive for your health? (iStock photo)

The more I travel and talk to people across the country about the problem of obesity and being overweight, the more I am convinced that we have become a sitting culture. We simply don’t need to move anymore, so we don’t. We are flooded with resources and conveniences that have made our lives simple at the cost of keeping us active.

We can now cut the grass on our lawns on a riding lawn mower—or, better yet, can call one of those lawn-care companies to do it for us. We no longer need to change the oil in the car (in many urban areas, you’re not even allowed to do it yourself)—we can just drive into one of those 15-minute oil change places, and they'll do it quicker and more efficiently than we ever could.

We do our banking at a drive-thru, get food and coffee at a drive-thru, get our car washed at a drive-thru, and fill our prescriptions at a drive-thru. In some places, we can even order our groceries online and have them carried inside our home. We've become a drive-thru, convenience-based society.

In this technological age, we spend much of our day on our backsides behind a computer or a desk. Many of us sit for hours in our cars while commuting to work. It's certainly common here in the D.C. metropolitan area where I live. And if that wasn't enough, we sit when we get home.

We spend hours and hours sitting in front of the TV or the computer. We play video games or watch movies instead of playing sports, riding bikes or doing other things outside. What happened to the days of bike races, street games, sandlot baseball, pickup basketball games and many other outdoor adventures?

So, what has all this sitting done to us as a society? Well, as Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic has noted, "Researchers have linked sitting for prolonged periods with a number of health problems and premature death from cardiovascular disease.”

For many of us, “Sitting has become the new smoking," he says.

Just let that sink in for a second—sitting is now being compared to smoking! Who would have thought that while we were making our lives easier and more convenient, we were actually contributing to the downfall of our health?

When I stop and ponder these facts—when I look into the eyes of people who are in bondage to their current physical condition—I am deeply grieved. This is why I decided to do whatever I could to make a difference to bring about positive change to unhealthy and overweight people. This is why I have dedicated my life to helping them get moving and eating healthy.

In my mind, it's a huge challenge and one that can only be accomplished with Jesus' help. Jesus is our coach, and the Bible is our guide and playbook.

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