5 Ways to Fight the Negative Effects of Sitting
Once upon a time, people were very active. The caveman hunted and gathered and were generally physically active a large part of their day. Even in more recent times, many jobs involved physical labor. But things are different today. Many of us sit a large part of our day. In fact, you are probably sitting right now. So, what gives? Why are people in modern society more likely to be couch potatoes?
The reality is modern life is convenient, which means many of us spend a lot of time on our butts. Millions of people spend their workday sitting at a desk. We walk less and drive more. We don’t even have to get up to change the television station. But all this convenience comes at a cost. Spending too much time each day sitting is bad for your health.
According to the Mayo Clinic, recent studies have indicated that too much sitting each day is associated with increased rates of obesity, heart disease, and cancer. It can also lead to joint, bone, and muscle problems.
Although you probably can’t quit your job, you can try to combat all that sitting. Consider the following suggestions:
1. Sit actively
If you do have a desk job, consider sitting on an exercise ball, or a chair which incorporates a stability ball. If you sit on something that you requires to actively balance your weight, you’ll use your core muscles for stability, Plus, you also move a little more to maintain your balance. Those micro- movements add up, and you’ll increase your calorie expenditure.
2. Consider an adjustable desk
The American Medical Association recommends alternatives to prolonged sitting, such as using an adjustable workstation. If possible, consider swapping your traditional desk for a standing desk at your home or office. Better yet, invest in a treadmill desk.
3. Stand whenever you can
If you can’t talk your boss into an adjustable workstation, you can still stand up part of your work day. For example, when you’re on the phone, make it a habit to take the call standing.
4. Make movement an integral part of your day
At work, you probably can’t take a break every hour to stroll around the office. But you can incorporate physical activity throughout the day in addition to regular workouts. Park further from the office. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Consider a brisk walk at lunch time. At home, take stretch and walking breaks when you’re on the computer or watching TV.
5. Exercise every day
If you have a sedentary job, daily exercise is even more vital for your health. Although it won’t combat eight hours of sitting, exercising daily is still beneficial. Make it a priority to do some type of workout each day.
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