In addition to low back pain and postural issues numerous research studies have linked sitting for long periods to increased risk of several significant health conditions including: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome and even cancer.
Fortunately, the solution is quite simple as reported by James Levine, MD, PhD. of the Mayo Clinic: move more and sit less. I’m not suggesting to re-engineer your office or home. Just getting up and moving every 60-90 minutes for as little as 1-3 minutes can counterbalance the negative effects of prolonged sitting. Walking, stretching, body weight exercises, any simple leisurely movement has a profound impact including reduced health risks, burning calories and increased energy.
As reported in TIME Health and Family online, the adverse effects of prolonged sitting are caused primarily by disrupted metabolic functions that relate to vascular health. Dr. Hidde van der Ploeg, of the University of Sydney School of Public Health cites increased plasma triglyceride levels, decreased HDL (good cholesterol) and decreased insulin sensitivity as repercussions of prolonged sitting.
The negative effects of sitting apply even for people who otherwise exercise. Even us gym rats and activity enthusiasts still need to be concerned about sitting and get off our keisters and move throughout the day!
In the converse, the muscle activity needed for standing and other simple movement triggers important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars. When you sit these processes slow down and when you’re actively moving you kick the processes back into action. Additionally, sitting can restrict blood flow to your legs. Movement = circulation + fat burning +muscle toning+ energy!
Enough about the problem, lets talk solutions:
Whether in the office, car, plane or flipping tv channels stand up and move around periodically for a healthier & fitter you. While some are touting standing or treadmill desks, these are not space, economically or physically feasible for most of us. Try taking a simpler path to integrating movement into your day:
- · Set a calendar or phone alarm to remind you to get up & move
- · Take the stairs vs elevator
- · Do some stretches, push-ups or squats by your desk
- · Meet with a colleague over a walk vs conference room
- · Walk around your office during that conference call
- · Stand vs sit on the bus or subway
- · Eat your lunch while walking
- · Stand up during long meetings (it will help your attention span too)
- · Walk down the aisle of the plane
- · Pull the car over for a minute and get out, stretch & take some deep breaths
- · Or, do a Got A MinuteTM For Health 1 minute exercise video from CoreFitnessByJana!
Now that your finished reading this – STAND UP & MOVE!!!