Sitting is the new smoking so stand up for better health. Take a mini break every hour to walk around and enhance circulation. American adults now sit more than they sleep, averaging 9.3 hours each day at work, in your office chair on the keyboard, on the couch watching TV and in the seat of your car driving! If you are spending the majority of your day “on your rump”, it’s taking a major toll on your health. This bad habit puts you at an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, liver disease and obesity in addition to raising your blood cholesterol, pressure and sugar and triglycerides and most importantly, shortening your life.
The problem with sitting for long periods of time is that your muscles aren’t contracting. When muscles work they burn blood sugar for fuel, aiding in blood sugar control and they release biochemicals that increase your metabolism and lower cholesterol. Researchers suggest that even a 10-minute stroll can restore good blood flow to the lower back and legs after sitting for a long period of time.
Set your alarm and take a mini break every hour to do something physical.
- Walk to the water fountain, mailroom or work desk of a colleague instead of picking up the phone or emailing a message.
- Always take the stairs, never the elevator.
- Stretch in place, touch your toes, reach for the sky and hold for ten seconds, extend the right hand higher, then the left. Repeat.
- Twist your torso to relieve upper back muscles.
- If you have a longer break, take a 20-minute walk or about a one mile walk and burn an average of 100 calories.
- Do jumping jacks in your office or run in place for 60 seconds, we won’t mind.
- Swap out your chair for a balance ball but do use a stabilizing base.
- Always sit using good posture.
The goal is to activate the major muscles in your back and legs that go dormant when you sit all day and rev up your metabolism. Every time you move instead of sit, you challenge your heart to beat a little faster, training it to be stronger and fitter. Physical activity matters for your health’s sake, so take a stand every hour at a minimum!
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness