Stand up against the risks!

December 7, 2015 11:02 pm Published by

We do it all day and you are probably doing it right now. Sitting.

The increase use of electronics in our society has caused sedentary lifestyles. The latest research has shown that sitting is as bad for us as smoking. The impact of prolonged sitting has been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, falls, depression, dementia, joint and back pain and cancer. (1)(2)

The ‘electronic age’ has changed how much time we spend sitting. We wake up in the morning and sit to eat our breakfast, then we sit to drive to work, we sit in front of our computers at work taking few breaks, we commute back home sitting in the car, we sit to eat dinner, sit to drive our kids to activities, sit to watch them do their activities and sit to watch TV before we go to bed. We use remotes so we don’t have to get up to change the TV, turn on the fan or the fireplace. We have automated vacuums, electronic toothbrushes, electronic snow blowers and electric mixers. All “gadgets” to make our lives easier or is it just more sedentary? A study that was done in Australia showed that the average Australian office worker stands, walks or exercises for a total of 73 minutes per day. The rest of the time is spent sleeping (429 minutes) or sitting. That is only one hour and 13 minutes of not sitting or laying per day. (3)

Sitting for 11 or more hours per day increases your risk of death by 40%. Adults who watch less than two hours of television a day are less likely to have type 2 diabetes or be obese and have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Even those adults who go to the gym regularly can still sit for long periods of time. New evidence suggests that, no matter what your total sitting time is, regular interruptions from sitting (even as little as standing up) may help to reduce risk factors. (4)

Stand up against the risks! 

It is recommended that the goal is to reduce the total amount of sitting during the day by creating more opportunities to limit sitting time and to avoid prolonged periods of sitting. (5)

  • Stand up and take a break from your computer every 30 minutes
  • Stand up during meetings
  • Take regular walks (yes regular, as in every hour) around the office, the block and up and down the stairs
  • Drink more water (you will need to fill you water glass and visit the bathroom more regularly)
  • Get up and out of the office for lunchtime and go for a 10-minute brisk walk, park farther away for spot saved for healthy people
  • Get off a stop early
  • Take the stairs
  • Get a stand desk – but alternate between standing and sitting – standing all day is no better than sitting – alternate positions
  • Do light household chores while watching TV (like folding laundry, picking up a room)
  • Stand to read the newspaper
  • Move around your house while checking texts or talking on the phone

Why not use your electronics for an alarm to remind you to stand up!

Let Life Move you. 

 

  1. Wilmot EG, Edwardson CL, Achana FA, Davies MJ, Gorely T, Gray LJ, Khunti K, Yates T, Biddle SJH. Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia 2012;55:2895-2905.
  2. Owen N, Healy GN, Matthews CE, Dunstan DW. Too much sitting: the population-health science of sedentary behavior. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 2012;38(3):105-113.
  3. https://youtu.be/LaH8KVysHOI
  4. Bankoski A, Harris TB, McClain JJ, Brychta RJ, Caserotti P, Chen KY, Berrigan D, Troiano RP, Koster A. Sedentary activity associated with metabolic syndrome independent of physical activity. Diabetes Care 2011;34(2):497
  5. https://heartfoundation.org.au/images/uploads/publications/PA-Sitting-Less-Adults.pdf

 

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