On average, we spend more than half of our waking hours sitting down: working at a computer, watching television, traveling in a car, or doing other sedentary things such as reading or chatting with friends. But long stretches of uninterrupted sitting have a range of undesirable effects that may harm your heart.
In recent years, research has shown that compared with people who move more throughout the day, those who sit for long stretches of time tend to have higher levels of markers linked to heart disease risk. In fact, the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking,” as coined by Dr. James Levine of the Mayo Clinic describes perfectly what happens when our bodies, which are built to move, fail to do so regularly.
It is believed that people who are less physically active are at a greater risk of obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and decreased body muscle. Sedentary behaviors are the single biggest threat to workforce productivity, overall health and quality of life.
Great job if you already regularly exercise. As an average, everyone should have at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day and some sort of strength training at least two days per week. But research shows that we need to do more. Because our body is designed to move, our bodies should move every hour in order to stay energized and to avoid long term health issues. So what can you do in your sedentary life to MOVE EVERY HOUR?
Set an alarm and get up to do something every single hour (smart watches and phones have this feature):
- The 3 S’s: SIT STAND STRETCH
- 5 minutes of “DESKERSIZE”
- Light jacks
- Slow squats
- Side lunges with water bottle curls and or raises
- Desk pushups
- Wall sit
- Always take the stairs rather than the elevator
- Take a walk around the building
Remember your body is designed to move and it is the only one you will ever have. Keep your body moving! You will feel more energized and the long- term health effect are amazing!