By Jason Greenspan

If you’re like most people, you spend the vast majority of your day sitting down — in your office, commuting to and from work, watching TV in the evening and if you’re retired, you might watch TV during the day.

Research shows that the average American spends nine to ten hours of their day sitting. Even on the weekends the average person sits for eight hours.

People in certain occupations, such as telecommunications professionals and lawyers spend an average of eleven to twelve hours sitting each day.

This behavior can be more dangerous to your health than you might think, as the human body was designed to move throughout the day.

Sitting can cause a whole host of orthopedic issues and promote various diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

It makes sense that sitting promotes cardiovascular disease, because when you sit for extended periods throughout the day, you spend less time moving and burn fewer calories. Before you know it, you’re packing on the pounds. Research has also shown that when we sit in front of the TV, we tend to eat and eat and eat!

SSF10Also, when we sit for extended periods of time, our neck, shoulders, chest, hips and hamstrings become very tight and our buttock and mid back muscles weaken. This weakness and tightness not only hinders our ability to move efficiently, but also affects our ability to maintain proper posture. When your posture is poor, there is more stress on the joints, which makes us more prone to pain and injury.

The amazing thing is that with all the attention sitting has received lately, a high percentage of fitness enthusiasts still go to the gym and perform their workouts sitting. This is especially true for older adults (sometimes for good reason), but most of the time sitting on the machines is not necessary and causes more risk than reward!

While just getting to the gym is commendable, sitting on the machines isn’t a very efficient way to go about your exercise program. When you sit on the machines to exercise, not only do the machines help you do some of the work required to lift the weight, but it isn’t a very functional way to exercise.

The only time sitting on a machine can be of value is if you are brand new to exercise and don’t have any guidance or have a severe orthopedic or neurological condition that might affect your balance.

Real life tasks such as pushing and pulling objects, sitting to standing, climbing stairs and plain-old walking require us to stand and use our core to maintain proper posture and help to maintain balance.

At Silver Stars Fitness, we perform all of our exercises in a standing position to help simulate real life movements. Standing is more efficient for just about every goal from building overall strength to burning fat, as you burn more calories in a standing position. Although most fitness clubs fill up their space with machines, we like to fill up our space with people that are standing.

To improve your overall health and quality of life, try high-intensity interval training (get doctors clearance) strength training in a standing position, walk at least 5,000 to 10,000 steps each day and avoid sitting as much possible.

See the below tips to help limit the amount of sitting you do throughout the day:

  1. Use a standing desk at work
  1. When watching TV, stand up and walk around during commercial breaks.
  1. At the office, put a water bottle on your desk and sip throughout the day, so you’re forced to stand to go to the bathroom.
  1. Purchase a pedometer to track how many steps you take each day.
  1. Stand on the subway, don’t sit!
  1. When traveling on the plane, make sure to stand up every 15 to 20 minutes and walk around, stretch and then sit.

Silver Stars Fitness is a fitness studio dedicated to improving the lives of the baby boomer and beyond client. To learn more or to set up a free consultation, please contact us at 646-573-9724 or by email at

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