The Checkup: Decrease Couch Time, Increase Life Expectancy
• Not to burst your bubble or anything, but you know how experts have always said that 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day is enough to keep you nice and healthy? Well, looks like they might’ve been wrong: You need to do more than that. The latest in the body of research I’ve dubbed Why Sitting Will Be the Demise of Us All, researchers analyzed the results of a handful of studies that looked at the health effects of too much sitting and TV watching. Reports ABC News: “The researchers calculated that limiting the time Americans spend sitting to three hours or fewer each day would increase the life expectancy of the U.S. population by 2 years. Cutting down TV watching to fewer than two hours each day would bump life expectancy up by another 1.4 years.” In other words, our piddly 30 minutes of daily exercise isn’t hacking it—it ain’t nearly enough. Sitting down for the other 23.5 hours—or even half that—is, well, a big problem. This begs the question: How in the world could a person cut down sitting time to less than three hours a day? I’m at work for nine hours every day; for most of that time, I’m plopped right here in front of my computer. Researchers suggest getting creative about how we spend our time at work: getting up to talk to colleagues instead of emailing, taking walks at lunch. I’d rather stand while I work. Anyone have a spare standing desk they’d like to donate to a poor, desk-strapped health blogger? Anyone??
• Starbucks has unveiled a new line of energy drinks, tapping into the market of energy-sapped people who absolutely hate coffee. This stuff’s carbonated, comes in fruity flavors, and is made with green coffee extract—but has no coffee taste.
• Ever wonder what’s happening to your skin when you get sunburned? Scientists only recently figured it out. Fox News has the scoop.