1. Section Editor(s): Faut Rodts, Mary DNP, CNP, ONC, FAAN
  2. Editor

Article Content

If there was ever a manuscript that called my attention to a health issue that could be affecting me personally, it was one that is published in this issue of Orthopaedic Nursing. I read many manuscripts that are submitted to the journal, with most of them describing specific orthopaedic problems as the main focus of the article. However, when I first read Dr. Linda Eanes manuscript, "Too Much Sitting: A Serious 21st-Century Health Risk" (pp. 211), it alerted me to the numerous health risks that can be caused by sitting too much. While many of our colleagues were working vigorously throughout the pandemic, this nurse administrator found herself sitting at my computer for 12-14 hours per day for 3 months managing many issues related to the pandemic that were affecting my orthopaedic practice. Sometimes, I would find myself sitting, nonstop, without even standing up for several hours straight.

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Dr. Eanes review discusses the significant health problems such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, endometrial, colorectal, breast and lung cancers, and premature death and references numerous authors who have studied the issue and found out that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity alone may not be enough. Didn't we all think that if you jogged, walked vigorously, or participated in some weight-bearing physical activity, three to four times per week for 30 minutes or more, that all was good and it was enough? I sure thought so. Even though I found myself sitting for long stints, I would also make sure that I snuck that walk in. Well, at least until the pandemic hit and all activity ceased.


Recalling my usual questions that I would ask patients about how active they were, I tended to focus on the usual activities mentioned earlier. Additional questions such as: How far can you walk; can you climb a flight of stairs and if so how many flights; do you participate in physical exercise and if so how many times per week? Rarely, I asked how many hours the patient sat per day. That might have actually been the better question to ask.


What this manuscript made clear to me was the need to continually think about what affects personal health. We know that health screenings are important. We now know that sitting is a risk that should be addressed. The research review that Dr. Eanes presented is compelling and provides information that should change practice.


The consequences of prolonged sitting are now on my radar and would be something we should all consider for ourselves and our patients.