Sitting is the new smoking, so they say. As I sit here at my desk writing this article, I’m distracted by this video that came across my desk – so what did I do? I got up and danced, of course! Before reading any further, where are you now? — at a desk, in bed, a car, or a train? Take a moment to watch and participate!
We often spend over 15 hours a day sitting. We all know being a couch potato is bad for us, but the truth is that even with regular exercise – sitting all day has a negative effect on our health.
Excessive sitting has been linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome, and increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. From my perspective as a bodywork practitioner, I see the resulting low back and hip pain from tight and weak hip flexors and hamstrings. Chronic shoulder and neck pain from slouching and hunching over phones and computers and steering wheels is on the rise and keeping my massage practice full.
With a little creativity you can get moving and restore your health. First and foremost, stand up every 30 minutes. Walk around the office. Do a lap or two in the parking lot. Stand up while on the phone. Dance a bit!
The less sitting you do the more energy you’ll have. Even leisurely movement is beneficial to the metabolism and your body. Swap your desk chair out for an exercise ball. Start a walking group during your lunch break. Practice desk yoga.
What are the benefits of increasing movement? By counteracting the slow down of your metabolism from sitting – you’ll avoid the 1 to 2lb. weight gain most women see yearly from being sedentary. Your risk of cardiovascular disease drops. You’ll sleep better. You’ll ache less. While it may seem like a small change, it is certainly an impactful one!
I’ve just started using a device called Lumo Lift that vibrates when I slouch! I’m still testing it out, but so far I like
the constant reminder to sit up straight and get moving. Stay tuned to more info about that coming soon.
For now, get up and get moving.