Technology and convenience are at an all-time high, which leads to us sitting more and moving less. WIth obesity on the rise, it's time to start thinking about more than diet and exercise and looking at another dangerous behavior, sitting. Like Nilofer Merchant stated in her blog, Sitting Is the Smoking of Our Generation. In fact, a study out of the University of Queensland determined that one hour in front of the television reduces your life expectancy by twice as much as smoking a single cigarette. Pretty scary considering the average person sits for 9.3 hours a day.
So what happens when we sit? The larger muscles of the lower limbs stop contracting bringing the body's metabolism to a screeching halt. Even the act of chewing gum expends 15% more energy then sitting. As the metabolism slows, blood sugar increases and so does your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. To make matters worse, fat and cholesterol also rise.
Think that you deserve a little tush time since you hit the gym today? Think again. Dr. James Levine's, who treats obesity at the Mayo Clinic, research shows that a daily drip to the gym can't undo the damage done from sitting all day.
So what can we do? Here are a few tips to help reduce your time with the chair:
- Stand while talking on the phone. Get a good headset or set of headphones and take a walk while you chat.
- Transform your desk into a standing desk.
- Make the daily meeting a standing or walking meeting. Get moving and watch the productivity rise.
- Stand while you eat and skip the dessert for a walk. Not only will you get your metabolism going, but it is an excellent recovery practice.
- Get a smaller water bottle. More trips to the water cooler means less time sitting at your desk.
- Instead of emailing or calling your coworker, walk over to their desk. Get your answers quicker and build rapport.
- Get your family involved. Challenge the kids to a pushup contest or play a game of tag instead of gathering in front of the tv.
- Addicted to Downton Abbey? Dust off the treadmill or stationary bike and move while watching tv.
What are some of the ways you reduce your sitting time?
Check out one of our favorite infographics: Sitting is Killing You