Many months ago this TOJ ranted about the dangers of sitting for prolonged periods of time. The video interview below between Dr. Joan Vernikos, an former NASA scientist and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, and Dr. Joseph Mercola is nothing short of fascinating. For many years, Dr. Vernikos was responsible for maintaining the health of astronauts while they were weightless in space for prolonged periods of time. At some point in her career, she realized that the physical changes due to weightlessness, which include muscle and bone deterioration, were identical to those which occur in sedentary people as they age.
Many of us who exercise hard a few times a week, if not daily, tend to think we're bulletproof. Unfortunately, that's not true. Despite our exercising, if we spend prolonged periods of time motionless in front of a computer or TV, we are subject to the same metabolic threats - poor insulin sensitivity and systemic inflammation - as lazy couch potatoes.
Listen carefully to this fascinating interview. It's long, but worth every minute. Also, read Dr. Mercola's comments about Vernikos's work. You'll never think about gravity the same way again, if you even thought about it at all.
If you want to maintain a healthy metabolism, her prescription is simple: just move - reach, bend, kneel, squat, jump, walk. Most important if you want to be a healthy and do the bare minimum to achieve it, just stand up at least 36 times a day. You don't even need to break a sweat, unless you want too.
Remember she's not saying you don't need to pay attention to nutrition or that there aren't other benefits from exercise. She's saying simply that to advance our metabolic health we must be more active, more frequently thoughout each and every day.