Do you know what your health pitfalls are? We’re all in danger of developing unhealthy habits if we don’t pay attention. For example: sitting. It seems harmless; you may be doing it now. But sitting too much can actually result in serious consequences for your health.
A sedentary lifestyle—specifically sitting for long periods through the day-carries significant health risks. An article published in BMJ Open found that sitting for more than three hours a day could reduce a person’s life expectancy by two years. Inactivity increases the risk of many diseases such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression.
Our bodies are trying to tell us that they weren’t designed to remain still all day. They were made to move.
Americans used to be very active. Just 150 years ago, half of U.S. citizens lived on farms and 90 percent were connected to agriculture in some way.
Times have changed. Today, less than 2 percent of Americans live on farms. We’ve transitioned from plowing fields and feeding livestock to sitting at desks and tapping away at our keyboards. The sedentary lifestyle, also known as sitting disease, has become a serious national health threat.
Unfortunately, sitting disease can’t be cured by simply jogging in the morning or hitting the gym several times a week- although this is a healthy start. Studies suggest that we need to be active multiple times throughout the day to avoid the effects of sitting disease.
Here are some simple tips for getting out of your seat and back on your feet:
- Stand up or pace when talking on the phone
- Choose a far-away parking space
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Ask your boss to let you work at a standing or treadmill desk
- Walk over to someone to ask question instead of yelling across the room.
- Go for a quick jog or walk in the morning, at lunch, and after work
- Stand when talking to a friend or colleague, or when preforming simple tasks such as reading, folding laundry, or practicing an instrument
- Clean and do yard work, these provide practical exercise
How much time should you spend on your feet to avoid sitting disease? Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, says: “No one knows for sure, but if you’ve been sitting for an hour, you’ve been sitting for too long… you should be up for 10 minutes of every hour.”
So why not start today? Join the fight against sitting disease to improve your health and prolong your life! Stand up and get moving!
(Submitted by Betty Dean. Used by permission from www.lifeandhealth.org. Courtesy of LifeSpring – Resources for Hope and Healing Stuart, VA.)