Your Turn
A special election is set for June 2 on the issue of a 1-cent sales tax to help fund economic development, city services and more. The proposed tax would replace an existing half-cent sales tax set to expire. Would you support this effort?

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • I don't know.

Suggest a poll topic


Send your events to
The Herald at

The Herald

The Herald
for subscribers

Recent Herald Special Sections

Latest Herald
Special Section

The Shopper

The Shopper

NOT BORN YESTERDAY: Sit less, live longer

By LINDA BROWN, Not Born Yesterday

Right now you’re doing one of the worst things you can do for your health. No, it’s not reading the newspaper — that’s a good thing — but chances are good you’re sitting while reading, and that can be very bad for you. In fact, you probably should stand up before reading any further because it turns out that the more time you spend sitting, the less time you’re likely to have enjoying life on this planet.

Vintage Park Assisted Living Center administrator Luanne Freund said new research shows the more time we spend on our butts greatly enhances our chances of developing diabetes, heart disease and premature death.

“One study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that women who spend six hours a day sitting were 16 percent more likely to die by the end of the 13-year study period,” Freund said. “Men who sat were 18 percent more likely to die.”

Another study linked 49,000 cases of breast cancer and 43,000 colon cancers to prolonged sitting.

Extraordinary amounts of time spent sitting have serious metabolic consequences. Such a habit has an unattractive effect on blood sugar, triglycerides, good cholesterol, resting blood pressure and levels of the appetite hormone leptin, all of which are linked directly to obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Sitting also disrupts the lymph system, which helps the body fight off infections. Lymph vessels, which drain waste materials created by an infection, don’t have a pump like the heart; they’re controlled by rhythmic contractions of the leg muscles. When we sit, the lymph system can’t do its job.

Just in case you’re wondering if a long walk or visit to the gym after work is enough to make up for sitting all day, the answer is no.

Next week: How to sit less.

Linda Brown is marketing director for The Ottawa Herald. Email her at

E-mail to a friend | Print |
Enjoy the convenience of home delivery of The Ottawa Herald.