A growing number of studies are reporting the dangers of sitting. One such study came up with alarming results. A group of people were followed for seven years. The people who sat more than four hours per day had a greater mortality rate by 50% than the group of people who sat less than two hours per day. Another study reported people who sit half the day had double the risk of diabetes and heart disease. On average, Americans sit 13 hours a day.
We have to work, right? And many of us have office jobs or jobs in other areas where we sit the majority of the time. Sitting for so long day after day leads to inflammation and arthritis, diabetes, obesity... the list goes on. In order to take back your health and diminish the risk for these life threatening conditions, changes must be made. Here are some easy to implement changes that you can make in the workplace to avoid the danger that too much sitting brings!
1. Stand Up!
Just stand up? Really? Yes, really! Standing every ten minutes can have a profound effect. Some studies show that just the simple act of standing can counter the dangerous effects of sitting for too long. Standing up can be more effective than walking. It does not matter how long you stand, but the number of times you do so. Rearranging your office or desk space can make standing up a no-brainer. Place items you use consistently in a place where you have to stand to read them. You'll find yourself up and moving without thinking about it!
2. Take the Long Road
It's recommended that we take 10,000 steps a day. Many Americans barely average 6,000 steps and a large number only achieve half of that! Try adding in extra steps to each part of your day and you'll hit 10,000 faster than you might think. Instead of sending an email to your coworker down the hall, walk over to deliver the message. If your building has an elevator, skip it and use the stairs. Spend ten minutes of your lunch walking. Park as far away as possible in the morning. Get a pedometer and start an office challenge of who can walk the most each week.
3. Replace Your Office Furniture
While this may be a bit trickier to do depending on where you work, there are some simple changes you can make. Replace your standard chair with a stability ball chair. Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to have better posture and engages your core muscles more than traditional chairs do. If at all possible, find a way to raise your desk so that you can stand up while you are working. Standing and moving at work will lower the risks associated with prolonged sitting and can even increase productivity. Not a bad trade off!
Be creative when coming up with ways to move more while at work. Even if you are a regular attendant at the gym, sitting for eight hours at work can lead to some major health problems. Regular movement throughout the day is what we need. With a little bit of imagination, you'll settle into a routine that has you moving more than before without interfering with your work.