Saturday, May 17, 2014

Is This Chair Deadly?

The latest science on sitting comes as a shock to most people. A stream of research suggests that the other 23 hours when you're not exercising are crucial in dictating how healthy you are.

A 2010 study of 123,216 people found that the more leisure time spent sitting, the higher the risk of premature death: Women who sat for more than six hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who sat for less than three hours, no matter how much other physical activity they got.

A survey of almost 3,500 people indicated that sitting can effect your happiness. Non-occupational sitting time - watching TV, using the computer at home, or driving - was negatively associated with mental well-being.

Those who sit more than four hours a day were found to be significantly more likely to have a chronic disease such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

LifeTime Fitness program manager Jennifer Keskey concludes that "Movement during the day is almost more important than the time people spend working out with us."

You work out every day and you eat healthy but you work at a desk all day. In the evenings, you drive kids to activities and then collapse on the couch for TV time. How can you fit more movement in your day?

First of all, don't ditch the workout. The high intensity cardio and strength training are beneficial in multiple ways. I've enumerated those in previous posts.

The key is being aware of how much you move and working to sneak in small amounts of movement throughout the day.

* Get up from your desk and walk to the farthest restroom in your building.

* Walk to lunch. Or walk around the block or in the air-conditioned mall during your lunch hour.

* Drop your kids at practice and then walk around the field. No, you don't have to get sweaty again. A stroll is fine.

* Park in the spot farthest from the entrance at Costco and Target.

* Walk around the block after dinner. Take the dog, he'll love it.

* Adopt a hobby that requires movement. Knitting and script-writing are great but they are sedentary. What about darts, archery or lawn bowling?

* Technology can help. Fitbit and Nike Fuel Band will alert you if you have been sitting for 45 minutes.

Do you have other ideas for sneaking in bits of movement during the day? We'd love it if you would share them with us!

Be aware of your activity level, keep moving and be healthy.

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