Sitting Is The New Smoking
If you had to guess, how many hours a day would you say you normally spend sitting uninterrupted? One? Two? Three, or more?
Long before man ever set foot into an office, they spent the majority of their days hunting and gathering in order to serve their basic needs. Since the technological revolution, the balance between our need for movement and fuel has shifted significantly, leading to a potentially harmful lifestyle.
As the majority of Americans are on a quest for time, we spend hours at a time sitting over a keyboard and consume far more calories than we burn. From the beginning of our day within the office, we sit for around 7 hours, head home, and begin to unwind in front of our favorite shows and repeat this process daily. Sitting is by no means good for our health as our bodies wind up feeling tighter, sore, and tired. Although we’re able to do a lot more due to technological advances and conveniences, we have also begun moving a lot less. Did you know this practice if not soon interrupted by exercise or an active lifestyle can lead to an earlier mortality rate?
You read that right, and for the sake of your health, you should probably read it again. According to recent research from the Journal of the American Heart Association, sitting for prolonged periods of time presents similar health risks as smoking. Chances of developing heart disease, lung cancer, and diabetes are all increased and could increase premature death by 50 percent.
Not only does sitting for prolonged amounts of time cause harm to your heart and metabolism, but it also causes harm to your brain. Researchers at the University of California have discovered a connection between sedentary lifestyles and the effect on thinning regions within the brain which are vital for forming new memory information.
If your job requires you to sit at your desk all day, every day, there are a few preventative measures you can take to ensure your body is able to move regularly for a healthier life such as these:
Fit in Exercise Whenever Possible
The more frequently you work out, the more you reduce your risk of premature death. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. While exercising 10 minutes or more at a time is optimal, shorter and frequent bursts of exercise, like taking the stairs, is a great way to stay active.
Move Every 30 Minutes
Research shows that people who sit for less than 30 minutes at a time have the lowest risk of early death. Meetings and deadlines don’t always offer the freedom to move, but you should aim to sit for no longer than three hours at a time. Try setting a timer on your phone to remind you when to periodically get up.
Use a Fitness Tracker
Fitness trackers are an effective way to ensure you’re moving enough throughout your day. As health and fitness technology grows in popularity, there are multiple options available for all budgets and lifestyles. Don’t forget to download exercise apps to help you track your progress!
Try a Standing Desk
Awareness about the health concerns associated with chronic and prolonged sitting is growing, which has led more companies to re-examine ways they can improve employee wellness. In some environments, adjustable desks have been provided to allow workers the opportunity to stand instead of sitting if they so choose. If a standing desk is not an option for you, try moving your laptop to a tall counter or table as a means to implement more standing in your daily routine.
Opt for Less Convenience
In a world full of countless technological conveniences, we take so many of them for granted — and in most cases, they lead to our detriment. You can reverse your mortal clock by opting for “less convenient” choices in your day. Walk over and have a conversation with your colleague instead of sending an email. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Bike to work instead of drive. Small activities will make a significant impact and you will notice a difference!
Do you spend excessive amounts of time sitting? Do you experience any health problems that you think could be related to a sedentary lifestyle? Let’s chat and get to the root of your health issues. Book an appointment with us, and together we will find ways to improve your overall health and well-being so that you can live your life to its fullest.
Call or email us at 361.575.4173 or [email protected].
To your best health!
Cherise & Steve
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