Don't Read This Sitting Down

By Scott LaFee

March 5, 2014 3 min read

If you are, stand up and move around. It may help you get around longer.

More than 56 million Americans have some form of physical disability, according to census data. Almost half of people ages 65 and older have at least one kind of disability. According to a new Northwestern University study, the big risk factor for becoming physically disabled is simply sitting too much.

The study found that people who spent more time sitting were more likely to become disabled compared to people of similar health and exercise habits who sat less. Researchers estimated that each daily hour in a chair or couch increased the chances of future physical problems by 46 percent.

In other words, if sitting for 12 hours a day produces a 6 percent risk of developing a disability, an additional hour boosts your likelihood by 3 percent.

Exercising more does not reduce the risk, according to the scientists. The benefit comes from extended periods of activity that work out muscles and promote blood circulation.

BODY OF KNOWLEDGE

In one hour, you typically shed roughly 600,000 particles of skin. Over the course of a year, those particles add up to about 1 1/2 pounds, about the same weight as an iPad.

GET ME THAT. STAT!

According to the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, at least 6,000 Americans try marijuana for the first time every day. According to the United Nations, approximately 162 million adults use marijuana at least once a year; 22.5 million use it daily.

NUMBER CRUNCHER

A slice of spinach and feta cheese artisan pizza by Dominos (62 grams) contains 550 calories, 540 from fat. It has 60 grams of total fat, or 92 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet.

It also contains 10 milligrams of cholesterol (3 percent); 250 milligrams of sodium (10 percent); 17 grams of total carbohydrates (6 percent); 1 gram of dietary fiber (4 percent); and 6 grams of protein.

DOC TALK

Cardiac tamponade — compression of the heart from fluid buildup, such as blood

PHOBIA OF THE WEEK

Mnemophobia — fear of memories

NEVER SAY DIET

The Major League Eating speed-eating record for beef tongue is 3 pounds, 3 ounces, in 12 minutes, held by Dominic Cardo. Note: Whether Mr. Cardo was able to hold his tongue is not known.

OBSERVATION

"It's easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet." —Anthropologist Margaret Mead

LAST WORDS

"I must go in, the fog is rising." —Poet Emily Dickenson (1830-1886)

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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