I was just featured in The Metro Newspaper here in NYC in an article called Stand Up For Your Health on an alarming silent killer that you might not be aware of… SITTING!
Before I started doing a lil research for the article my initial reaction to this sitting = death notion was one of “so what, everyone sits, what’s the big deal?!”
Well, here are some scary stats that I uncovered from a few recent studies:
- Obese people sit 2.5 more hours/day than lean people.
- Those who watch TV 3 or more hours/day are 64% more likely to die of heart disease.
- Sitting 11 hours makes you 45% likelier to DIE within 3 years than those sitting less than 4 hours/day.
- As soon as soon as you sit: enzymes that break down fat drop by 90%, after 2 hours – good cholesterol drops by 20%, and after 24 hours insulin effectiveness drops by 24%.
The research is CRAZY! The data is shockingly showing that even if you are an average gym goer, (~3xweek), that may not be as good for your health as interspersing moderate activity throughout your day!
Basically your movement (or lack there of) ALL. ADDS. UP.
So the most important thing that I want you to realize is that the results you see from frequent, short, health-minded activities done throughout the day are not instant, but they are cumulative.
Here are my 3 suggestions to MOVE MORE AT WORK:
1) Automatic stimulus: Keep a reusable liter sized bottle of water on your desk at all times. Drink enough so you have to g approx 1-2 times / hour. Choose a bathroom 1 floor up for even greater effect. On the way back from the bathroom go up 2 extra flights as quickly as you can.
2) Associative stimulus: Pair mundane office habits with quick, healthy activities that trigger movement all day long! For example, each time your phone rings, stand up. Make it a habit to stand up throughout the entire call, pace back and forth or even do squats.
3) External stimulus: Set a reminder to go off on your computer or cell phone every 30 minutes to get out of your chair. Even if you are still focused on the task at hand, once you are standing you are more likely to move. Bend over touch your toes or walk away from your desk for 2 minutes. Wearing a pedometer or Nike Fuel Band can serve as a cheap and easy feedback mechanism that will make you aware if it’s oh say 4 pm and you’ve only walked half the distance you’ve walked at the same time yesterday!
Its important to realize that this issue is not about sitting vs standing….it’s about making the most out of every opportunity to move more frequently throughout your day. The 1st step towards changing your behavior is to become aware of just how much you sit at work, during the commute and once you get home. Then you must DECIDE to change and take active steps like the ones mentioned above until you ave effortlessly integrated more movement (less idle time sitting) into your daily routine.
This just about sums it up! Check it out: