Don’t Be a Sitting Duck
Thursday, February 24, 2022
Sitting Too Long is Harmful for Your Health
Too much sitting is harmful — even if you exercise regularly. “Research shows that being sedentary outside of physical activity (for example, running or going to the gym) raises your risk of developing many serious health conditions, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers,” said Stephen Ulrich, M.D., Perry County Family Practice, New Lexington, OH. It also shortens your life expectancy.
It’s easy to understand how we’ve become so sedentary. We can hit the drive-thru at the bank or coffee shop or take the elevator rather than walk up the steps. Many of us spend hours in front of a computer during the workday and a TV screen in the evening. In fact, the average person spends at least nine hours per day sitting. That’s more than half of your waking hours.
We should ALL increase our standing and walking time during the day. In fact, if you are overweight, you should try to increase the amount of time you spend in non-exercise physical activity by two and a half hours a day. While that may sound a bit overwhelming, when you break it down into short intervals throughout the day, it’s not. Taking frequent standing and moving breaks can quickly add up.
You burn 30% percent more calories when you stand versus when you sit. And the accumulation of muscle contractions required to move throughout the day uses more energy than a continuous period of dedicated physical exercise.
Here are a few tips to help you get moving:
· Get up every 30 minutes when you are on your computer. Take a break for several minutes to stand, stretch and move about.
· Do chores standing up, such as folding laundry, when you’re watching TV.
· Stand when you’re talking on the phone.
· If you work in an office, encourage your colleagues to stand during meetings.
· Take a short walk during your lunch break.
· Use a fitness tracker to track your steps throughout the day and set increasing goals for yourself.
Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.