Friday, September 28, 2018

Move More

We're a nation of sitters. TV binge-watching, desk jobs, and the allure of the internet all contribute to that fact that most of us spend at least 50% of our day sitting down. The more we sit, the higher our risk of first-world diseases of affluence: diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The disheartening part is that formal exercise - like walking, cycling, or hitting the gym for 30 minutes or so each day does not completely protect us from these health risks. A Lancet study found that you need to exercise 60 - 75 minutes daily to undo the damage of a sedentary lifestyle.

We need to recognize that it's as important to decrease overall sedentary time as it is to maintain a regular practice of intense, formal exercise. How can we resist the call of the sofa and work more movement into our daily lives?

Change Positions
Sitting, lying, kneeling, or squatting on or as close to the floor as much as possible can pay big dividends in hip mobility, spine health and kinesthetic awareness, while simultaneously encouraging more movement. Sit on the floor while working on your laptop or playing with children. Lie on the floor while playing tug with the dog. Squat as close to the floor as possible while gardening or scrolling social media.

Steal Steps
A 2017 study found that average Americans take fewer than 4,800 steps per day, less than half the 10,000 many health experts recommend. Whenever and wherever you can, steal a few hundred steps. Park farther away from the door at the market; take the stairs, not the elevator; walk to lunch or to pick up the kids. Small changes can net you several thousand steps a day.

Walk & Talk
Conversation is an important part of life, but only convention says you need to do it sitting down. In fact, conversation may be more gratifying and productive in combination with movement. A 2014 study found that walking boosts creativity and the free flow of ideas.

So go ahead and grab coffee with your friend - but instead of taking a seat, walk while you talk. Ditto for phone conversations, which you can conduct on your cell using headphones virtually anywhere. You'll squeeze in additional movement and may enjoy livelier conversations, too.


Stay Active, Keep Moving, Sit Less and
Enjoy Your Food

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