When I use the word sitting I refer to zazen.  I've said this many
times.  And for me zazen is shikantaza; and shikantaza is 'clear mind'.

So...any activity I do (like daily life) with a clear mind (Buddha Mind)
is shikantaza, is zazen.  Washing dishes with a clear mind is zazen.

I think at least you'll agree that washing dishes = daily life.


--- In, Kristy McClain <healthyplay1@...>
> The point being that > sitting = < daily life. k
> --- On Thu, 1/13/11, Bill! BillSmart@... wrote:
> From: Bill! BillSmart@...
> Subject: Re: [Zen] News: Can sitting too much kill you?
> To:
> Date: Thursday, January 13, 2011, 5:12 PM
> Â
> Sitting is daily life. Daily life is sitting. ...Bill!
> --- In, Kristy McClain healthyplay1@ wrote:
> >
> > Amen.
> > ÂÂ
> > Thanks for sharing this!  k
> >
> >
> > --- On Thu, 1/13/11, Edgar Owen edgarowen@ wrote:
> >
> >
> > From: Edgar Owen edgarowen@
> > Subject: [Zen] News: Can sitting too much kill you?
> > To:
> > Date: Thursday, January 13, 2011, 5:22 AM
> >
> >
> > ÂÂ
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > For all you deluded ones who believe that sitting instead of daily
life is Zen.ÂÂ
> > :-)
> >
> >
> > Edgar
> >
> >
> >
> > ÂÂ
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Can sitting too much kill you?
> > By Travis Saunders | Jan 6, 2011 10:39 AM
> > We all know that physical activity is important for good
healthâ€"regardless of your age, gender or body weight, living an
active lifestyle can improve your quality of life and dramatically
reduce your risk of death and disease. But even if you are meeting
current physical activity guidelines by exercising for one hour per day
(something few Americans manage on a consistent basis), that leaves 15
to 16 hours per day when you are not being active. Does it matter how
you spend those hours, which account for more than 90% of your day? For
example, does it matter whether you spend those 16 hours sitting on your
butt, versus standing or walking at a leisurely pace? Fortunately or
unfortunately, new evidence suggests that it does matter, and in a big
> > What is sedentary behavior?
> > Before we go any further, it’s important that we define
the term "sedentary behavior". Sedentary behavior is typically defined
as any behavior with an exceedingly low energy expenditure (defined as
<1.5 metabolic equivalents). In general, this means that almost any time
you are sitting (e.g. working on a computer, watching TV, driving) or
lying down, you are engaging in sedentary behavior. There are a few
notable exceptions when you can be sitting or lying down but still
expend high energy expenditure (e.g. riding a stationary bike), but in
general if you are sitting down, you are being sedentary.
> > The above definition may seem rather intuitive, but this is not the
way that the term sedentary has been used by exercise science
researchers for the past 50 years. Up until very recently, referring to
someone as sedentary meant simply that they were not meeting current
guidelines for physical activity. In simple terms, if you were
exercising for 60+ minutes/day, you were considered physically active.
If you were exercising 10 minutes/day, you were sedentary. Case closed.
But as we will discuss below, sedentary time is closely associated with
health risk regardless of how much physical activity you perform on a
daily basis. Further, it is entirely possible to meet current physical
activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary. Thus, to
quote researcher Marc Hamilton, sitting too much is not the same as
exercising too little. (if you take only one thing from this post, let
it be that quote from Dr Hamilton). Which is why it is so important
> > that when we use the term "sedentary", we are all on the same page
about what that means.
> > Now that we know what sedentary behavior is, let’s look
at its relationship with health risk.
> > Epidemiological Evidence
> > In 2009 Dr Peter Katzmarzyk and colleagues at the Pennington
Biomedical Research Center published an influential longitudinal paper
examining the links between time spent sitting and mortality in a sample
of more than 17,000 Canadians (available here). Not surprisingly, they
report that time spent sitting was associated with increased risk of
all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality (there was no association
between sitting and deaths due to cancer). But what is fascinating is
that the relationship between sitting time and mortality was independent
of physical activity levels. In fact, individuals who sat the most were
roughly 50% more likely to die during the follow-up period than
individuals who sat the least, even after controlling for age, smoking,
and physical activity levels. Further analyses suggested that the
relationship between sitting time and mortality was also independent of
body weight. This suggests that all things being equal
> (body
> > weight, physical activity levels, smoking, alcohol intake, age, and
sex) the person who sits more is at a higher risk of death than the
person who sits less.
> > The above findings linking excessive sitting with poor health are
far from isolated. For example, a similar longitudinal study from
Australia reports that each hour of daily television viewing (a proxy of
sedentary time) is associated with an 11% increase in the risk of
all-cause mortality regardless of age, sex, waist circumference, and
physical activity level. And as my colleagues and I summarize in a
recent review paper (PDF), numerous epidemiological studies have linked
sedentary behavior with obesity, cardiometabolic risk, and even some
> > New evidence also suggests that in addition to the quantity of
sedentary time, the quality of sedentary time may also have an important
health impact. For example, Genevieve Healy and colleagues examined this
issue in participants of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle
(AusDiab) Study. A total of 168 men and women aged 30-87 years wore an
accelerometer (an objective measure of bodily movement) during all
waking hours for 7 consecutive days, which allowed the researchers to
quantify the amount of time that participants spent being sedentary, as
well as how frequently they interrupted these sedentary activities (e.g.
standing, walking to the washroom, etc).
> > What did they find?
> > The greater the number of breaks taken from sedentary behavior, the
lower the waist circumference, body mass index, as well as blood lipids
and glucose tolerance. This was true even if the total amount of
sedentary time and physical activity time were equal between
individualsâ€"the one who took breaks more frequently during
their time at the office or while watching television was less obese and
had better metabolic health. Importantly, the breaks taken by the
individuals in this study were of a brief duration (<5 min) and a low
intensity (such as walking to the washroom, or simply standing).
> > Taken together, the epidemiological evidence strongly suggests that
prolonged sitting is an important health risk factor. But what explains
these relationships? Let’s now look at the multiple
mechanisms linking sedentary time with increased health risk.
> > Mechanisms
> > Reduced Energy Expenditure
> > Quite obviously (and by definition), when you are sedentary, you are
not being physically active. And so one common assumption is that people
who sit more are at increased health risk simply because they are
getting less physical activity. However, somewhat surprisingly, sitting
time and physical activity do not appear to be related for most people.
For example a paper from the European Youth Heart Study published in
PLoS Medicine reports no association between physical activity and TV
watching in a sample of nearly 2000 children and teenagers, and other
reports suggest that there is little evidence that sedentary behavior
displaces moderate or vigorous physical activity. So while it makes
intuitive sense that being sedentary reduces energy expenditure, it is
likely through the reduction of very light intensity physical activity
(e.g. standing, walking at a slow pace), rather than by reducing the
volume of what we typically think of as exercise. This
> may
> > also help explain why the relationship between sedentary behavior
and health risk are often independent of moderate or vigorous physical
> > Increased Food Intake
> > In addition to reducing our energy expenditure, sedentary behaviors
may also promote excess food intake. For example, a recently published
study in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that the amount
of commercial television (e.g. television with advertisements) that
children watch before the age of 6 is associated with increased body
weight 5 years down the road, even after adjustment for other important
variables including physical activity, socio-economic status and
mother’s BMI. In contrast, watching non-commercial
television (DVD’s or TV programs without commercials) showed
no association with body weight. Similarly, it has also been reported
that each hour of daily television watching in children is associated
with an increased consumption of 167 calories per day (PDF), mainly
through increased consumption of high calorie, low nutrient foods (e.g.
the foods most commonly advertised on television). Much of this is
> just a
> > learned behaviorâ€"watching TV exposes us to food ads
promoting unhealthy fare, which is likely to have a disproportionate
influence on younger viewers. Just as importantly, people may just
really enjoy munching on food while relaxing on the couch. Either way,
excess sitting (and TV watching in particular) seems to put us in
situations where we choose to eat more than we would otherwise.
> > Physiological Adaptations
> > I don’t think the mechanisms described
aboveâ€"that sitting too much may lead to reduced energy
expenditure and increased food intakeâ€"will come as much of a
surprise. But what I find truly fascinating is that sedentary behavior
also results in rapid and dramatic changes in skeletal muscle. For
example, in rat models, it has been shown that just 1 day of complete
rest results in dramatic reductions in muscle triglyceride uptake, as
well as reductions in HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). And in
healthy human subjects, just 5 days of bed rest has been shown to result
in increased plasma triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, as well as
increased insulin resistanceâ€"all very bad things. And these
weren’t small changesâ€"triglyceride levels increased
by 35%, and insulin resistance by 50%!
> > These negative changes are likely related to reductions in the
activity of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme which allows muscle to uptake
fat, thereby reducing the amount of fat circulating in the blood (it
also strongly influences cholesterol levelsâ€"the details can be
found here). Animal research has shown that lipoprotein lipase activity
is reduced dramatically after just six hours of sedentary
behaviorâ€"not unlike a typical day at work or school for many
individuals. Sedentary behavior may also reduce glucose transporter
protein content in the muscle, making it more difficult for glucose to
be taken into the muscle and resulting in higher blood sugar levels.
What is most interesting to me personally is that these physiological
changes in skeletal muscle have little or nothing to do with the
accumulation of body fat, and occur under extremely rapid time-frames.
This means that both lean and obese individuals, and even those with
> active
> > lifestyles, are at increased health risk when they spend excessive
amounts of time sitting down.
> > Should we be concerned about the health impact of sedentary
> > Yes.
> > Western society is built around sitting. We sit at work, we sit at
school, we sit at home, and we sit in our cars as we commute back and
forth. In fact, a recent survey reports that the average American
accumulates more than 8 hours of sedentary behavior every
dayâ€"roughly half of their waking hours. The situation in
children is, unfortunately, no different. There is evidence that
children in both Canada and the USA (PDF) accumulate more than 6 hours
of screen-time (time spent in front of the TV, computer, or other
screen-based device) on a daily basis. Keep in mind that screen-time is
almost exclusively sedentary (active video games excluded), and that all
these hours of sedentary behavior are in addition to the hours and hours
(and hours) that kids spend sitting at school. In fact, a recent study
reports that roughly 70% of class time, including physical education
class, is completely sedentary (while slightly better than class time,
> were
> > also sedentary for the majority of lunch and recess).
> > In short, given the consistent links between sedentary behavior and
both death and disease, and the ubiquity of sedentary behavior in our
society, we should be very concerned about the health impact of
sedentary behavior.
> > What is the take-home message?
> > There is a rapidly accumulating body of evidence which suggests that
prolonged sitting is very bad for our health, even for lean and
otherwise physically active individuals. The good news? Animal research
suggests that simply walking at a leisurely pace may be enough to
rapidly undo the metabolic damage associated with prolonged sitting, a
finding which is supported by epidemiological work in humans. So, while
there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered (e.g. Is there a
â€Å"safe� amount of daily sedentary time?), the
evidence seems clear that we should strive to limit the amount of time
we spend sitting. And when we do have to sit for extended periods of
time (which, let’s face it, is pretty much every single day
for many of us) we should take short breaks whenever possible.
> > Finally, if you take only one thing from this post, let it be
thisâ€"sitting too much is not the same as exercising too little.
> >

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