Why Sitting Is NOT the New Smoking

In All Health Watch, General Health, Health Warning

You’ve probably seen articles in recent years warning of the dangers of sitting. The headlines often call sitting “the new smoking.”

A 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 compared the health effects of sitting and smoking. They presented their findings in the American Journal of Public Health.[1]

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%.

In other words, smoking is nine to 18 times more lethal than sitting.

“Smoking Is One of the Greatest Public Health Disasters of the Past Century”

Dr. Terry Boyle was one of the scientists who conducted the 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 sedentary people have a 20% increased risk for heart disease and some types of cancer. But smokers have more than double the risk of dying of heart disease or cancer. Their risk of lung cancer is 1,000% higher.

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.”

The Best Way to Kick the Habit

If you are trying to quit smoking, don’t do it Big Pharma’s way. A study at the University of California, San Diego shows that smoking cessation drugs like varenicline and bupropion don’t work for most people.[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.

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.

Editor’s Note: Unlike much of the mainstream media, we don’t accept advertising from Big Pharma. That’s why you can count on us for unbiased medical information. Our only motivation is your good health.

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[1] https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-11/uosa-sin110418.php

[2] http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/study_medications_alone_dont_help_smokers_quit

[3] https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/110/6/581/4768312

[4] http://www.cochrane.org/CD001292/TOBACCO_does-individually-delivered-counselling-help-people-stop-smoking

[5] https://www.quit.com/maintain/quit-smoking-hotlines.html