Hot Health Topic: Giving Yourself a Pardon From the Chair
Do you look for ways to include more movement into your workday?
by Successful Aging in Action! | 10.17.19
By: Neal Miller
Does all the mounting research on the dangers of too much sitting have you on the edge of your seat? It should. The average office worker spends nearly seventy-five percent of their work day in a chair.
Research out of the Journal of Epidemiology suggests that people who sit for long periods of time have a shorter life – two years on average. Long periods of time spent sitting was also associated with dangerous health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. These outcomes don’t apply to just those with desk jobs (ahem, looking at you couch potatoes). Unfortunately, it gets worse. No amount of physical activity can offset the damage done by long periods of sitting.
So if we can’t cancel out the deleterious effects of prolonged sitting, what can we do to incorporate more movement into our daily routines? The following are some ideas if you’re trying to find more opportunities to move at work:
Step up your step count:
Walking is the most common form of physical activity world-wide. Instead of taking sedentary breaks at work, try taking a short walk. You might even be able to squeeze another one in before or after lunch. Office on the fourth floor? Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Sending an email to someone down the hall? Need to talk to someone in another department in your building? Why not do it in person rather than by email or phone. The more movement throughout the day the better. Maybe you can also get in a quick workout without leaving the office.
Rise to the occasion:
A person who stands at work burns 336 more calories a day than someone who sits. Realistic? Probably not. But what about half the time? That’s about the equivalent calorie burn to jogging a mile. There are many types of standing desks on the market. Looking to go beyond a standing desk? They even have treadmill desks!
Originally printing in Masterpiece Living's Fall 2011 Mosaic
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