Stand up for yourself: Health and sitting

POSTED ON May 29th, 2012 - by MomatusNo Comments »

Spending a little too much time in an office chair, lounging on the sofa, or vegging out in front of the TV and computer?  It could be bad for your health. Recent studies have shown associations between sitting and developing type 2 diabetes in women, premature mortality, weight gain, increased amounts of fat in the bloodstream and organs, and a greater risk of heart disease and blood clots and remaining on your keister. In a country where 90% of our leisure time is spent in a state of inactivity, and our workplaces encourage little to no movement, exercise has become increasingly important for our well-being.

Take a tip from James Brown, and “get up offa that thing!”  Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times Phys Ed column suggests in her new book, The First 20 Minutes that you should stand for at least two minutes for every 20 spent chair-bound.  When possible, walk around to increase metabolism and activate the major muscles in your legs.  Regular exercise on your feet, such as jogging or running, for at least half an hour every day can go a long way to reduce the risk of disease, improve brain and muscle function, and aid in shedding the pounds.

Here are a couple of ways to keep your drumsticks in gear;

- Buy a tall desk or music stand for papers and computers.  This will help you to stay upright when taking care of businesses or noodling around on the Net.

- Take a walk on breaks.  Bring a friend, start a lunchtime jogging club, or stroll through the office when possible.  Drink from small cups so you are forced to stand to refill your coffee or water.

-  Cycle or walk to work and when on errands.  Park a little farther away from the store to encourage more movement.

-  Decrease your commute and time spent trapped in the car or bus by adjusting when you hit traffic.  Take your bike out for a spin for extra exercise!

- Relax and blow off stress by taking a dance class or or hitting the gym instead of plopping in front of the tube or playing video games.  Read your favorite novel or converse with friends standing.

- Go low-tech and choose to sweep instead of blow the leaves from the front yard, speak to colleagues face-to-face rather than text messaging, and cook on your feet instead of driving through for take-out or buying prepared meals.

Let your body show you what it was made to do!  Shun that desk chair and sofa and keep moving!