MyFit@ACU: Is sitting ‘the new cancer’?

Published: Monday 16th March 2015

MyFit@ACU is an Australian university first; an eight week, online, interactive fitness challenge.

The program has been designed for staff and students with the aim of transforming your health and fitness. It involves a range of exercises, health and fitness tips, advice and motivational tools, all based on industry best practice.

This week, the focus on the program looks a little closer at our lifestyle. Specifically, we look at the effects of sitting down for long periods of time on our health and wellbeing.

The following has been adapted from this week's MyFit@ACU blog entry.

Sitting: Is it really 'the new cancer'?

Sports shoes and measuring tape 

The new Apple Watch has been met with much fanfare, scepticism, and of course, anticipation. Amid the buzz, we've learnt that one of the key features of the new product will be a haptic sensor, which will detect our daily movements. The notion of monitoring whether or not we are moving around enough has again raised discussion about sitting and its effect on our health.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has described sitting as, "the new cancer". Is this a media beat up to sell a few more watches, or is constantly sitting down at work our most dangerous health epidemic?

I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. A myriad of articles have been written in recent years about the dangers of sitting down, even if we are physically active during the day. Early this year, an article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine January edition, made the connection between sitting down and a significant increase in the incidence of cardiovascular conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and Cancer (Biswas, et al., 2015).

Are you stuck at your desk from 9am to 5pm? Maybe longer… Perhaps you eat lunch at your desk and don’t move around at all? Then the paragraph above applies to you! Do not fret, though. Our health and wellbeing can be significantly improved by doing one simple thing:

Buying an entry level $499 Apple Watch.

I kid. However, you can improve your health and wellbeing at absolutely no fiscal cost.

Stand up.

Standing up every 20 minutes for around 10 seconds is enough for the glucose that normally floats around in your blood to be dissipated, until we sit down for a long period again.

Stand up. It's really that simple.

Nathan McLean
Co-founder of MyFit@ACU

For more information, or to access the free MyFit@ACU resources, visit the MyFit@ACU website. Alternatively, contact Nathan McLean via email or by phone on (03) 9953 3665.