The Bottom Line of Sitting Long Hours Includes Increased Risk of Heart Disease, Type II Diabetes, Obesity and More
If you’re like most of my clients, finding time to exercise is an incredible challenge. As a certified personal trainer in New York, I see people who struggle to get active with what seems like a never-enough-time work and family demands.
It’s natural, as we are now a nation of professional sitters. Everyone from telemarketers to CEOs spend a hefty chunk of time sitting. Small things have also amped up our sitting time – technology, family cars (those who take the bus or subway tend to get in more movement time), drive-thrus, and even on-line shopping. The efficiency of machines has maximized our butt-in-chair time. Add commute times and decompressing in front of the TV, even our leisure hours are spent … sitting. Global studies found the average adult sits (or is sedentary) anywhere from 7 – 15 hours each day, not counting sleep time! Calculate your sitting time here.
And with so many things just a swipe of our tablet away, we have opened the Pandora’s box of health risks including obesity, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and depression among others. Something so seemingly innocuous can be lethal.
A Science Alert study argues it’s a movement issue and that being sedentary, either sitting or standing, is harmful to your health. Regardless, we can all agree that not moving and not being active are incredibly unhealthy.
I don’t expect you to river dance while sending off reports, but there are some wonderful, easy ways to sit less and move more. Here are 5 tips to lesson tush-time and incorporate movement into your daily schedule at the office.
- Make Sitting Count: Great posture is a way to “actively” sit. When you feel your body slip into the slump, remember to focus on better posture. Also, you might consider getting an active sitting disc for your chair.
- Set an Alarm to Better Health: Make movement during your day just as big a priority as work deadlines. Increase your daily physical activity by setting an alarm on your cell phone to get you moving each hour. Make sure you move at least five minutes, whether it be walking around the office, going down a flight of stairs to get coffee, stretching … however your body needs to move. And think about it: With an 8-hour workday, you’ll get in 40 minutes of movement!
- Just Stand: Ask your workplace for a stand-sit desk, stand up during meetings, stand to talk to a colleague instead of sending an e-mail, or give up your seat on the subway. By making standing and movement part of your mindset, your will be healthier.
- Walk, Cycle, or Run to Work: Weather and security permitting, if your workplace is less than a couple miles from home, you could walk, cycle, or run to work. In many areas, you’ll get there quicker than sitting in traffic. If that’s impossible, pack a pair of comfy walking shoes to take a walking lunch. Just twenty minutes will get your heart rate up, not to mention clear your head of all the office guck!
- The Staircase to Thighs and Gluts of Steel: Never take the elevator! Though in some office buildings, the stairwells are off limits because of safety regulations, if yours isn’t, walk at least four flights to the office. Get off four floors below yours … and each week, add a flight of stairs. This is not only great to get you moving but also great for your gluts and thighs.
Your health is more important than anything. Without it, you can’t work, take care of your family, or travel. Health is everything. By incorporating movement and activity into your daily routines, you’re on the road to feeling more energized and getting fit. By avoiding the pitfalls of the sit, you will reduce your risks of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and more.
So, take a stand for your health and reap the benefits!