I'm usually busy with something at home but on one Sunday night, there was a series of television programs scheduled that I thought I could not miss.

From 7 p.m. to about midnight, with laptop in hand and eyeballs back and forth between it and the television, I wasted a good five hours. Of course, there were breaks for the bathroom, finishing laundry, tidying up and chasing down the dog who had stolen something.

I'd already fallen off my regular exercise routine so sitting for a period of time was no good.

Studies have shown that we Americans have a sitting problem. About 86 percent of American workers sit all day at work. In schools, 70 percent of classroom time is sedentary. And when adults and children go home, they sit some more. We do too much of it — about eight hours per day or more.

Going to the gym or walking everyday is ideal, but it still may not be enough. You could still be at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes, if you sit for the remaining of the day.

People who sit more than 11 hours per day are at a 40 percent increased risk of death in the next three years, compared to people who sit for four hours or less, according to an Archives of Internal Medicine study.

There are plenty of alternatives to sitting while on the job. Health experts have said it is beneficial to get up and move around for one to two minutes at least every hour. You can stretch, walk around or take a quick walk on your break.

At home, cooking, household chores, gardening, playing with children and taking care of and playing with pets are ways to get out of the couch funk.

But if you still get the urge to follow all of your favorite shows in one sitting, do so with activity. Fold and iron clothes, get on a treadmill or create a 30-minute routine you can do on your living room floor.

We sit without really thinking about how time we spend on the couch or in an office chair. Let's make a conscious effort to use what we don't want to lose.

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