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The danger of too much sitting

How many hours do you sit per day?  If you include time in your car, time at work, time at home most people spend an average of 12 hours sitting. Is that healthy? What are the consequences of so much sitting?

50 years ago humans had a lot more opportunities for movement. Even the most sedentary person back then at least had to get up to change the channel on the TV.  100 years ago, we were walking to our destinations and squatting several times a day to go to the bathroom.  Humans are intrinsically made for movement. A lot of our modern day afflictions are the result of being sedentary.

So, you are one of the few, dedicated people who exercises 45 minutes a day six days a week. Guess what, studies show that its not enough to counter the damaging effects of sitting. There is damage being done at a cellular level inside the body.  Increased incidence of heart disease, diabetes, dementia and premature death are linked to too much sitting according to a Meta study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

So what is the solution? Well, most people have to sit to work or drive so here are a few suggestions:

  • Break up your work so you get 5 minutes every ½ hour or 10 minutes every 50 minutes…set a timer so you make sure to get up and move.
  • Determine some tasks you can do standing (talk on the phone, read) and make sure you do them standing.
  • Keep a small water bottle that you have to get up and refill often
  • Sit on your “sit bones” angled slightly forward from the hips when you are sitting
  • Use the copy machine that is furthest from your desk
  • Ladies, please take off your high heeled shoes when you sit at your desk

The suggestions above are all small steps but they are very effective at adding more movement to your day and helping you stay healthy.

 

 

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