We all know that exercise is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. But new evidence is showing that what you do outside of your allotted “workout time” during the rest of the day has just as much of an impact on your health. Sitting too much, researchers say, is linked to earlier death, increased risk of bone fracture, and heart disease.
It’s incredibly easy to live a lifestyle with too much “down-time” in this day and age – even when you work really hard. With so many of today’s jobs involving sitting at a computer and favorite leisure activities including TV, movies and gaming, sitting can easily take up a majority of the day.
According to James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D., ”Sitting in front of the TV isn’t the only concern. Any extended sitting — such as behind a desk at work or behind the wheel — can be harmful. What’s more, spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in moderate or vigorous activity doesn’t seem to significantly offset the risk.”
Replacing some of the time you spend sitting down with standing or activity is a great way to lower your risk of these dangers and live a healthier lifestyle. Here are some ideas:
- Ride your bike or walk instead of riding in a vehicle whenever possible.
- Stand while working on the computer. There’s no rule that says you have to sit at a desk! Work at a “standing desk” or elevated table while you stand. Position your monitor at eye level, especially when working for longer periods of time, to prevent neck and back strain caused by turning your head down.
- Use a treadmill desk. Walking while you work or surf the web – it doesn’t get much healthier than that!
- Take short walks and standing “breaks” during the day if you work at a desk. One of the worst aspects of sitting all day is when it’s prolonged – get up and move around every so often – each hour would be great.
- Combine fun and fitness. Find ways to unwind at the end of the day other than watching TV – at least a few times a week. Do a stand-up activity with your family, like a walk around the neighborhood or a game of charades.
- Stand up while you’re on the phone.
- Drink more water! It’s great for your body, and forces you to get up and take more of those quick bathroom trips throughout the day.
May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!