You’ve probably seen articles in recent years warning of the dangers of sitting. The headlines often call sitting “the new smoking.”
A recent study found that media stories comparing sitting to smoking have gone up 1,200% since 2012. And standing desks have become a major office trend.
But the fact is, sitting is not the new smoking. Not even close…
A team of researchers from the U.S., Canada, and Australia presented their findings in the American Journal of Public Health.1
After reviewing the data, they concluded that research does show that being sedentary is unhealthy. And sitting more than eight hours a day raises the risk of chronic disease and death by 10% to 20%. But that’s nowhere near as bad as the effects of smoking.
The researchers point out that smoking increases the risk of death from any cause by 180%.
Dr. Terry Boyle was one of the scientists who conducted the new study. He’s an epidemiologist at the University of South Australia.
“The simple fact is, smoking is one of the greatest public health disasters of the past century. Sitting is not, and you can’t really compare the two,” Dr. Boyle said.
“The risks of chronic disease and premature death associated with smoking are substantially higher than for sitting.
He points out that while sedentary people have increased chances of some cancers and heart disease by up to 20%, smokers have more than double the risk of dying of cancer and heart disease… And a more than 1,000% increased risk of lung cancer.
Dr. Boyle points out two other factors that make smoking much worse than sitting… “Unlike smoking, sitting is neither an addiction nor a danger to others,” he notes.
“Equating the risk of sitting with smoking is clearly unwarranted and misleading, and only serves to trivialize the risks associated with smoking.”
Here’s the Best Way to Kick the Habit
To quit smoking, don’t do it Big Pharma’s way. A recent study at the University of California, San Diego shows that smoking cessation drugs like Chantix and Zyban don’t work.2 3
Here’s what does…
John P. Pierce is a professor emeritus in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He said there is one thing that works better than all others to quit smoking.
“Evidence is pointing to an important role of behavioral counseling,” said Professor Pierce. “If the (drugs) were approved with counseling, we may have better success rates.”
Behavioral therapy is a way to “unlearn” habitual behaviors such as smoking. It involves discussions of thoughts and feelings when the patient practices the behavior. These discussions can be with professional counselors or even friends or spouses.
A study by University of Oxford researchers found that behavioral counselling increases the chances of quitting by between 40% and 60%.4
The study looked at several forms of counseling. They included individual in-person sessions, telephone counseling, group sessions, and written advice. All were found to be effective, although individual counseling worked best.
There are two easy ways to access behavioral counseling:5
1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Calling this toll-free number will connect you directly to your state’s quit line. All states have trained coaches who provide phone counseling.
1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) This National Cancer Institute program offers referrals to trained counselors.
You don’t have to be a slave to cigarettes. Get the professional help you need to take control of your health for good.
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