Evidence suggests that sitting for long amounts of time without moving puts people at a higher risk for developing blood clots, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even premature death. Even if you exercise for an hour a day, it doesn’t cancel out the effects of sitting for the other 97% of the day. The human body is designed to move, and our extended work days and hours relaxing in front of the TV after work make that increasingly harder to do.
Why? While the American Heart Association tells us we should be exercising at least 30 minutes a day, what it doesn’t tell us is what we should do with the rest of our day. Those 30 minutes a day mean we’re only active for 3% of the time! It’s no surprise then that being sedentary causes so many diseases.
If you’re curious how to reverse the effects of sitting, here are a few ideas:
Count your steps - counting your steps is a great motivator to keep yourself moving. It’s not until you have that obnoxious little step-counter that you realize how little you really do move.
Move often - take breaks at work and walk around the office. Even doing housework or walking your dog counts for movement.
The 20-8-2 rule - for every 20 minutes you spend sitting at home or at work, you should stand for eight minutes and move for two minutes. Set an alarm or reminder on your phone so you don’t forget.
Find excuses - Instead of sending an email to a co-worker who is sitting on the other side of the room, walk over to them. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the far end of the parking lot.
The doctors at GI Associates in Jackson, Mississippi want to keep you healthy! Get up and get moving!