Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity
Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk has been studying the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles for years and has summed up his findings in two sentences:
"Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death."
Levine is credited with coining the mantra—“sitting is the new smoking”—but he’s not the only one who believes it. Researchers have found and continue to find evidence that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing several serious illnesses like various types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Another reason the smoking analogy is relevant is that studies have repeatedly shown the effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise or other good habits. Sitting, like smoking, is very clearly bad for our health and the only way to minimize the risk is to limit the time we spend on our butts each day.