Sitting for too long is killing you.
Have you heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”?
Prolonged sitting stresses our body.
It is associated with premature death, primarily due to cardiovascular disease (regardless of whether you have a physically active life).
Sitting for prolonged periods is linked to risk factors like impaired glucose metabolism and higher blood triglycerides that can lead to cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Thosar reports that sitting for more than an hour significantly impairs the function of the endothelium (the membrane lining our heart and blood vessels that is responsible for constriction and dilation of blood vessels, as well as the enzymes that regulate blood clotting and immune function).
To combat these negative effects, researchers recommend that you move from your chair at least once an hour. Even at work you can:
- stand up while on a phone call
- walk around your chair or go and fill your water bottle
- work standing up for 20 min, then walk or change position to take strain off of the joints
Your body will appreciate the decreased stress.
And if you are walking for a few minutes, you will feel better. Literally.
Last year Sandstrom’s research on a group of more than 10,000 people reported that they felt happier when they had been moving (gentle walking) 15 minutes ago, compared to sitting or lying down 15 minutes ago. “People who are generally more active are generally happier, and in the moments when people are more active, they are happier.”
If it helps, set a timer for an hourly reminder to stand, stretch, and move your body, even as you continue working.
Take the stress off your body.
For effective, practical stress and sleep management skills that enhance health and performance, check out the Stress Management & High Performance Clinic programs at http://www.SelfRegulationSkills.ca.
Kathy Somers, R.Kin, BCB