Sitting is Killing Us
What is something that most Americans do every day, but is just as unhealthy as smoking? Would you be surprised to find out that it is sitting? Knowing that sitting for long periods of time isn’t the best for you is one thing. Knowing that it is as dangerous as smoking is another. So how can sitting possibly be as bad as smoking?
The production of enzymes that burn the body’s fat declines with each hour of sitting. Sitting for long periods of time can slow the metabolism and affect things like HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Sedentary behavior increases the chance of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as breast and colon cancer. The dangers of sitting are comparable to the health risks of smoking.
What can we do to help improve our health when so many people sit at desks all day for their jobs? Whether you are someone who is desk-bound or just find yourself living a sedentary lifestyle, we have compiled some tools to help you take a stand.
The first step to sitting less is just being aware of how much and how often you are sitting. Once you truly see how many hours per day you spend idle, you can set goals to help you reduce that number. Sitting and being idle for long periods of time can lead to numerous health conditions such as increased blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Do you exercise? If so,you’re a step ahead. Keep it up! Studies show that your health is at risk if you’re primarily desk-bound even if you do have an exercise regimen. So, continue moving, but make sure that you add in other things to make your daily habits less sedentary.
If you spend every day working at a desk, take a short break every half hour or so. Get up for two to three minutes and move. Taking breaks helps to support your mental stamina. Take laps around your office, or if that isn’t feasible, walk in place at your desk.
Take a lap around your home or the office. If it is nice, go outside and get some vitamin D with your walk. Get your blood moving and your mind shifting to a new atmosphere around you.
Do you sit in on conference calls during your day? Take them on your cell phone instead of at your desk and go for a walk. Or if you can, plan to take a walking meeting. Get creative, any opportunity to get up and away from your workspace will be beneficial and get your blood moving.
Eat lunch standing instead of sitting. Or better yet, walk somewhere near your office to pick up a bite to eat. There are other benefits to eating while standing, too. When you eat standing up you are reducing the pressure on your stomach and limiting the likelihood of experiencing reflux. If you can move around while eating or take a walk after your meal it will help to improve your digestion.
The most modern and exciting new desk feature is the treadmill. There are so many benefits to a treadmill desk, and it is a great option for those that work from home. Improve your memory and cognition while lowering the risk of neck and back pain.
Standing desks may also help to reduce back pain. One of the most common complaints of workers who sit for the majority of their day is back pain. Making it so you work from a standing position can help to reduce the amount of pain felt by sitting for prolonged periods of time. Some of our greatest minds in history were noted to have used a standing desk or to have stood while working. Keeping you in good company are Leonard Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemmingway, and Benjamin Franklin.
One of the concerns with switching to a standing desk is the worry that you will be impaired with tasks such as typing. The easy remedy to this is making sure that your standing desk, and all items on your desk, are set up in an ergonomic fashion. What does this mean? Having an ergonomic workspace means that everything is adjustable to your height. Your desk, monitors, laptop, and keyboard should be adjusted to eye level preventing poor posture and neck pain. Ergonomic workspaces help to boost productivity, decrease back pain, and improve posture.
After a long day of work, it can be nice to wind down with your favorite show. When you are watching TV don’t skip through the commercials, use them as an opportunity to move around and increase your blood flow. Do a lap around your house, practice a stretching routine, or do something on your to-do list that involves standing like folding laundry. You can even watch a show standing up. Do some simple stretches while you watch to focus on blood flow and mobility.
Whether you work from home or are in an office setting you have a dress code. Wearing clothing that allows you to keep moving and keep your blood flowing will help to support these tips. When making the move to stand instead of sitting you need to choose socks and footwear that will support you. Therafirm compression socks energize tired legs and feet. Allowing you to be supported for any occasion such as work, exercise, or rest days. Therafirm compression socks are designed to improve circulation, relieve tired achy legs and feet, as well as prevent light swelling.
The bottom line is to get moving and keep moving. Limit your total daily sitting hours to a minimum. You’ll burn more calories, feel better, and best of all, live a healthier lifestyle. Building habits like these lead to a happier and longer life full of enjoyment from the activities you love, and improved mental health.
*This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments