Are you sitting down right now? If yes, then STAND UP!! In fact, walk around while you read this but don’t blame me for any walls you run into or things you trip over. We’ve always known that being a couch potato is bad for your health, but how exactly would you describe a couch potato? My thought is someone who sits around all day watching TV. They may get up to use the bathroom, get something to eat, close the blinds when it’s causing a glare.
I got to thinking, how is sitting on the couch watching TV all day any worse than sitting in this horrifyingly uncomfortable chair staring at my computer screen all day? Turns out there isn’t much of a difference. Oh, you ran for an hour this morning? Doesn’t matter. You eat really healthy? Doesn’t matter. I’m just trading the couch for a chair.
According to this article, even ‘if you consider only healthy people who exercise regularly, those who sit the most during the rest of the day have larger waists and worse profiles of blood pressure and blood sugar than those who sit less.’ The author goes on to explain that your body actually does ‘bad things’ during long periods of inactivity. All kinds of molecules are impacted that effect the way your body processes sugars and fats. I found another girl article here that backs up these findings. This article explains a study that was done on 17,000 men and women and it found that those who sat for almost the entire day were 54% more likely to have a heart attack. Maybe that explains why people such as bankers, accountants, and lawyers are stereotyped for having heart attacks. Yeah, their jobs are stressful but maybe it’s because they sit for prolonged periods day after day.
Considering there are 24 hours in a day, let’s break that into thirds. This gives you 8 hours at work, 8 hours of sleep, and 8 hours of “free” time. These are all approximate depending on how many hours you work and sleep. To make matters worse, that “free” time for some is spent sitting in the car commuting to and from work. That’s okay though because it’s how you chose to spend those “free” hours that can have a major impact on your life and health. Even better than waiting until your free time, here are some tips to keep you moving during your work day:
1. Deskercise! Without a doubt your fellow coworkers will give you strange looks but get moving!
2. Step away from the phone and keyboard and go speak to someone face to face. It might not be a far walk but it beats sitting.
3. Fidget. Yes, I always used to get on to Colin when we were sitting in class and he could not stop moving, but get those toes tapping.
4. Music. I don’t know about you but I move a lot more when music is on than I do when I’m sitting in silence.
5. Replace your chair with a medicine ball or even better a Treaddesk! (I wonder how much begging it would take for my boss to get me one of these.)
Whatever you have to do, do it. Get up, stretch, take a walk. Your body will thank you. This is real stuff y’all and not just some futile attempt for me to point out to Colin all the negative aspects of me working all day. Okay maybe just a little bit but seriously, stand up.
Do you sit for the majority of your day?