Taking a Stand Against Sitting: April 1, 2011

How much time do you spend watching TV every day? Two hours? Four hours? More? The habit could be hazardous to your health. "Sitting is actually dangerous. You do too much of it, you're not active enough, you'll lose strength, endurance and stamina," warns physical therapist, Nathalie Grondin.

And your heart could suffer too. A recent study found that spending four hours or more in front of the tube can increase your risk for heart disease. "There's absolutely no question," says Dr. Edward Palank, a Lee Memorial Health System cardiologist. "The studies have shown that if you are active: less heart disease, less cancer, and you live longer."

Local physicians are encouraging everyone to take a stand against sitting. Adults and children alike. "As programs and schools take physical activity, physical education and sports away, we have to continue to push for kids to move because there's too much now of what kids want to do that involves sitting: computers, texting, TV, I mean, this is the bane of our generation so we have to get up and get moving and we have to get kids excited about that," says pediatrician Dr. Angela D'Alessandro.

If you simply can't miss your favorite show, find ways to incorporate more movement into that activity, such as getting up in between commercial breaks or working out while watching TV. "It all pays off in the end," says cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. Paul DiGiorgi. "Even, inevitably, if something might happen: a big surgery, you're going to be in much better shape for that."

And it's not just TV time. Computer users are also at risk. If you must work at your computer, physicians suggest setting an alarm to remind you to get up several times an hour.

If a blockage is found, and an additional procedure is needed, the non-interventional cardiologist would refer the patient to an interventional cardiologist for the angioplasty or whatever procedure is needed.