by Lauren Swanger, holistic health enthusiast and research journalist
We’re built to run, climb, and lift! Our ancestors spent most of their time traveling on foot, hunting for food, fleeing predators, looking for better sources of food, etc. When they sat down, they certainly deserved the rest. In contemporary times, however, the we spend much of our day sitting at a desk, staring at a computer, or sitting on the couch staring at the television or video game. Many people are shocked to discover they spend more time sitting than doing anything else.
Sitting for long periods of time are linked with physical obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat (especially around the waist), and abnormal cholesterol levels. Those who are sedentary, either by choice or by circumstance, experience a 125% increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease such as chest pain or heart attack.
Unfortunately, spending a few hours at the gym each week will not significantly counter the bad effects sitting creates.
The answer is less sitting and more moving in general.
There are many fun, and creative ways to boost your health despite the sedentary nature of your job.
- Stand whenever you have the chance.
- Stand, or “pace,” while talking on the phone.
- If you must work at a desk for hours at a time, try a standing desk or use a high table.
- Walk to a colleagues’ desk rather than send an email or phoning them.
- Use the stairs, not the elevator, whenever possible.
- If you work at home, station your work surface over a treadmill! Put your computer and keyboard on a stand, creating a vertical desk.
The impact of steady movement, even a slow unhurried pace, can be significant to your body. Not only will you burn more calories, the act of movement itself triggers important processes that lead to the breakdown of fats and sugars in the body.