Thursday, January 29, 2015

Why sitting all day is bad for you (and what to do about it!)

I spend a LOT of time sitting down during the day – whether it’s the 8+ hours in front of a computer at work – the 2 hours I spend commuting – or the hour or so I take to sit down and relax at home – that’s over 11 hours a day I spend on my ass – nearly half of my day!  Even though I workout out regularly, it doesn't quite compensate for the amount of time I spend sitting down – and that’s actually a pretty big deal.  It turns out that sitting down is actually incredibly unhealthy, even if you exercise regularly!
From the Washington Post (check out the full article here) - here are some of the ways sitting for 8+ hours a day can negatively affect your health:
  • Organ Damage – such as heart disease, overactive pancreas (caused by a decline in insulin response), and higher risk of colon cancer.
  • Muscle Degeneration – mushy abs, tight hips, limp glutes – the muscles you are working so hard for!
  • Strained neck, sore shoulders, and back damage.

So – what can we do to try to prevent some of this from happening?  Obviously if your job requires desk/computer work you will still spend the majority of your day seated, but there are some things you can do to break it up a little:
  • Stretch!  For every hour you spend seated – get up and stretch – this will not only help your health but could improve your mindset too.
  • Invest in a standing desk so that you can continue working but will reduce the amount of time seated.  You could also look into a treadmill desk (I have been begging for one for a year LOL). Or even a desk bike – I had no idea these were a thing!

  • Walk, as often as possible.  Get up and walk as often as your schedule allows – even if it is just down the hall & back.  Walk on your lunchbreak – not only will this help you reduce the affects of sitting all day, but it is good to get away from your work for 30 minutes – and regroup.
  • Switch out some of your chair time for an exercise ball – sitting on a ball instead of in your chair forces more core focus and helps keep those muscles active.

  • Exercise regularly – as I stated earlier this alone will not outweigh the hours spent sitting, but exercise is necessary for maintaining your health – try to spend 30 minutes a day doing something active.
I am really passionate about this - since I do spend so much time sitting I understand that sometimes it is tough to remember to get up and do something, but I think we can all agree that your health is worth it!  I have a bad back to begin with, and obviously sitting all day is not helping.  Do this for your own health - I promise it will be worth it.  Try setting an alarm on your phone as a reminder - and try not to sit for more than an hour at a time without some kind of break!
Lily needs to get off her ass more too!

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with this. I have recently been finding the time to go for a walk on my lunch, I used to just sit and eat my lunch at my desk! There's a really pretty lake by my work, so it's a nice place to walk around and I feel so much better after going out and getting some fresh air!