I’m sure you have one ~ that favorite chair or most comfortable position to sit down in ~ but did you know how harmful that chair can be for you? Over and over again in the past month I’ve seen or heard about the dangers of sitting too much to the point where it has almost felt like a grand conspiracy! Thankfully, I’m sure it’s not but it has had the effect of raising my awareness of these risks. The Huffington Post, Science Daily and USA Today have run pieces on the topic in the past 3 months. National Public Radio ran a story 3 years ago! So what’s going on? Turns out that sitting too much or for extended periods of time makes you significantly more at risk for any number of problems, including disabilities later in life.
Here’s the part which really caught my attention; exercise is not able to counter the effects of sitting too much! Studies published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Jan. 7, 2014) and Physical Activity and Health (Nov. 12, 2013) both came to this conclusion!
In the February 19, 2014 edition of the Huffington Post we read, “Long periods of sitting have been linked with chronic health conditions including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. One recent study even found that older women who spent extensive hours sitting each day whether at work or on the couch had a much higher risk of premature death!”
What to do? There are some simple steps you can take, literally, to get you up and moving. “Set a timer to go off every 30 to 60 minutes during the day, then get up and walk around for at least a few minutes—whether you’re at home or at work,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, one of the researchers who wrote the American Journal of Preventive Medicine article. You can achieve this by taking phone calls while standing and moving around a little bit. Make sure to take a quick walk down the hallway at the office between clients or meetings. You can, if possible, park further away from the entrance of stores when running errands or better yet, walking to get your errands done. If you’re able it’s also handy to take the stairs when you can. If you work in a taller building, as I do, you can walk up as many flights as is comfortable to and then hop the elevator for the remaining flights.
The evidence seems clear enough that in order for us to achieve and be Thriving we need to move and take care of the machine we call our bodies. Hey! Its time for me to get up and move ~ is it time for you to get up too?