Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Sitting is the new smoking. Extended sitting has a similar mortality risk for stroke and heart attack.

True or False: Americans are now sitting more than they are sleeping. True. On average Americans spend 9-10 hours sitting every day, compared to 7½ hours sleeping.

Did you know that the heart attack and stroke risk involves the spine? After extended periods of sitting at a desk or computer the head and neck naturally drift forward. If this is done for extended periods such as weeks or months, it will result in loss or reversal of the cervical curve. Loss of the cervical curve has been shown to decrease lung capacity by as much as 30%. Loss of lung capacity results in decreased oxygen in the blood.

When oxygen goes down what happens to your heart rate? The heart will have to adapt by working faster and harder to keep up with the demand for oxygen in the body. This can lead to increased heart attack and stroke risk.


Jintae Han. (2016). Effects of forward head posture on forced vital capacity and respiratory muscles activity, Journal of Physical Therapy Science

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