21 Jan 2015
January 21, 2015

Sitting: Is it too much and why?

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Photo credit: sandra_d_newsome via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Sitting here at my desk typing, writing, reading and organizing, you know; doing my job.

The majority of workers do so; and what can be the effects of all this sitting for 7hrs per day?

You may not want to take the following stat sitting down, according to the Mayo clinic there could be some health risks.

Sitting too much is also hell on your posture and, spine health says Douglas Lentz, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the director of fitness and wellness for Summit Health in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. “When you sit all day, your hip flexors and hamstrings shorten and tighten, while the muscles that support your spine become weak and stiff,” he says. It’s no wonder that the incidence of chronic lower-back pain among women has increased threefold since the early 1990s.

Consider this: We’ve become so sedentary that 30 minutes a day at the gym may not do enough to counteract the detrimental effects of seven, eight, nine, or 10 hours of sitting, says Genevieve Healy, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Cancer Prevention Research Centre of the University of Queensland in Australia. That’s one big reason so many women still struggle with weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol woes despite keeping consistent workout routines.

As a health blog that promotes wellness in the workplace, let’s take a closer look at how this can be perhaps reversed or diminished so you feel energized and improve your health at work and at home. AND it’s easier than you think!

“Excuse me a call is coming in” … I think  i will take this call standing up perhaps shuffle my weight from one foot  to another.

Fidgeting, standing, and puttering may help. Think of your body as a computer: As long as you’re moving the mouse and tapping the keys, all systems are go. But let it idle for a few minutes, and the machine goes into power-conservation mode. Your body is meant to be active, so when you sit and do nothing for too long, it shuts down and burns less energy. Getting consistent activity throughout the day keeps your metabolism humming along in high gear.

When you get out of your chair and start moving around, you turn on fat burners. Simply standing up fries three times as many calories as sitting on your butt, according to Levine. And, he adds, “NEAT activity can improve blood flow and increase the amount of serotonin available to the brain.

Get Your Move On

  • Shake things up throughout the day by interrupting your sedentary stints as often as possible. “Stand up every half hour,” says Neville Owen, Ph.D., of the University of Queensland. “If you have to sit for longer than that, take more extended and active breaks and move around for a few minutes before sitting back down.”
  • When you’re reading e-mail and taking phone calls, do it standing. Walk with colleagues to brainstorm ideas. And consider trading your chair for a large stability ball. “It forces you to engage your muscles, and you’re likely to stand up more because you’re not melting into a chair,” Lentz says.
  • At home, it’s simple: Limit TV time to two hours a day or less. Better yet, watch it from a treadmill or exercise bike or every commercial get up and move around. Among women, the risk for metabolic syndrome—a constellation of health woes including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar—shoots up 26 percent for every hour per day they spend watching the tube.
  • Not sure how much of a difference these mini moves will make? Check out the chart below. Swapping a more active approach for just a few of your daily activities can help stave off the one-to two-pound weight gain most women accumulate every year—and it can keep your metabolism buzzing the way nature intended it to.
  • Keep active in your daily lifestyle as well, whether it be the gym, sports, biking, running, swimming, hiking etc. these two add to your health.

 

Instead of This:
Sitting at your desk
83 Calories burned per hour
Do This:
Stand at your desk
115 Calories burned per hour

Instead of This:
Riding the elevator
128
Do This:
Take the stairs
509

Instead of This:
Talking on the phone seated
102
Do This:
Pace while chatting
147

Instead of This:
E-mailing a coworker
96
Do This:
Walk to her office
128

Instead of This:
Watching TV
64
Do This:
Make out
96

*based on a 140-pound woman

  • Stand up take a breather, walk over to the water cooler refresh and get toe tapping at your desk to better health!

Until next month when we discuss: “Lower back pain” ? Massage may help! and other modalities

To a healthy workplace,

Michelle