This Should Get Your Attention!
Physical inactivity is linked to more than 3 million preventable deaths every year globally, ranking as the fourth leading cause of death resulting from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Yikes! Need some more motivation to move? Read on……
Did you know this? One in four American adults sits for longer than eight hours every day, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). On average, Americans sit for about 11 hours each day, with much of this time spent at the office desk.
Research has linked sitting (at a desk, on the couch, behind a wheel or in front of a screen) for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, chronic joint pains, deep vein thrombosis, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels.
With that said, it seems clear that less sitting and more moving overall contribute to better health. For more movement in a sedentary environment, give these a try:
- Re-create your workspace: One way to ensure you move around often is setting things up in your office to get you up often; place the printer, copy machine, and other office items away from your desk, so you have to walk to reach them every time you need them.
- Raise your work surface to a height that keeps you standing while you work.
- Stand up and stretch every hour: After every hour of sitting, take a walk around the office or just walk outside to get some fresh air. You could set an alarm to go off for a reminder. (Apple watches, Fitbits, etc., have timers you can set to remind you.)
- Take short exercise breaks at intervals. Stand-ups, squats, shoulder rolls, and push-ups are a few exercises you could try at your desk.
- Here’s a crazy concept: Go see a co-worker instead of sending them an email or a text.
- Walk while you talk: Walk while you answer your cell phone or while conversing with a coworker. Turn meetings normally held in a conference room into a walking meeting. This not only burns excess calories, but it also boosts mental clarity, creativity, mood, and energy levels
- Take a walk during your lunch break (even if it’s for 10-15 minutes)
- Do not eat lunch at your desk! (see above)
The impact of movement — even leisurely movement — can be profound. For starters, you’ll burn more calories. This might lead to weight loss and increased energy. Also, physical activity helps maintain muscle tone, your ability to move and your mental well-being, especially as you age.