CHANGE YOUR POSITION NOW!
The importance of staying in motion every day
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As a society and as a result of technology, we spend more time sitting on our butts and in front of screens than the generations before us and this practice is extremely harmful and addicting. Many of us know by now that a sedentary lifestyle along with prolonged sitting is having adverse effects on our health, with studies linked to being overweight/obese, type 2 diabetes, poor posture, back and neck pain, some types of cancer, increased risk of heart disease and dementia, as well as early death. None of which is all that surprising to hear, however, if you’re already active, have good posture, and are doing daily exercises and stretching you’d assume that would be enough to protect you from the time you spend sitting in the office, right? I hate to tell you this, but no, it’s not enough.
Exercise is not enough to ward of the effectives of prolonged sitting and inactivity. In one study of nearly 8000 individuals, participants had their daily activity tracked and found that on average, participants were inactive for 12.3 hours of a 16 hour waking day! While physical activity helps to reduce the risks with prolonged sitting, one hour of exercise is not going to be enough to offset that amount of time of inactivity. What’s more is that those who sat for more than 13 hours per day had a 200% greater risk of death compared to those who sat for less than about 11 hours per day. The American Cancer Society also did a study on over 124,000 people over a 14-year timespan and found similar results and also noted that that women who sat for more than 6 hours a day were about 40% more likely to die during the course of the study than those who sat fewer than 3 hours per day. Men were about 20% more likely to die.
Crikey, I hope those stats have been enough for you to jump out of your seat. If you’re one of the many people who are confined to a chair for work it is possible to change your inactivity without having to quit your job. While working, it is imperative that you start taking a break, at minimum, every 30 minutes. Even if you’re sitting with good posture, holding anything for extensive periods of time if not good for you. Every 30 minutes get up, stretch and walk around for at least 5-10 minutes. To try and make this a habit here are few tips and tricks you can try to get started:
Request or get a standing desk at work. If your work is really awesome, ask about a treadmill desk.
Get a wearable (smart health monitor) – Many wearables have alarms that go off to remind you to get moving. Don’t have or want a wearable, any regular alarm will do.
Instead of business meetings, plan business hikes or walks.
Walk to a co-workers desk instead of emailing/messaging or calling.
Stretch while you watch TV.
Make an effort to take the stairs or stand on the bus.
Walk or bike to work