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How To Combat the Harmful Effects of Sitting All Day

How To Combat the Harmful Effects of Sitting All Day

Haven’t you heard the latest topic of conversation at the water cooler?

Sitting is the new smoking, apparently.

Meaning that sitting down is now considered a major public health concern, due to how detrimental it is to your overall health and wellbeing.

This isn’t exactly ideal, especially when you consider how our increasingly digital-focused jobs require us to be deskbound all day.

So if you’re reading this while slouching at your desk and hunching over the keyboard, let’s discuss some helpful changes you can make to your daily routine — starting now.

Firstly, what makes sitting so bad for you in the first place? Healthline estimates that as a result of modern society, the average person spends a colossal 15 hours a day sitting (versus a laborer or agricultural worker, who may only spend three hours off their feet!)

This excessive sitting reduces the amount of calories we burn throughout the day, which can contribute to weight gain, and sedentary lifestyles are linked to an increasing likelihood of chronic diseases and conditions. Studies have also shown that sitting for long periods of time can cause an increase in insulin resistance, resulting in type 2 diabetes, and increase the likelihood of heart disease.

Here are three ways to limit the harmful effects of sitting and add activity to your day.

Standing Desk

Doing exactly as one would imagine, installing a standing desk means chipping away at your workload while on your feet. As per WebMD, benefits include less back pain, a slight increase in calories expenditure throughout the day, and notably: a boost in productivity. That being said, standing desks don’t mean you don’t have to exercise. Regardless of whether you’re sitting or standing, the health website advises taking a brisk walking break every 30 minutes or so. Hop to it!

Exercise Breaks

Beyond just walking to the kitchen to pour another coffee, consider incorporating a short burst of exercise when you have a few moments to spare. One personal trainer said that they have a timer programmed to go off every 50 minutes during the work day, which means it’s time to do something like body weight squats, pushups, lunges, planks, or wall sits. Impressive!

Reconsider Your Commute

With the rise of working from home, your normal routine might revolve around sitting down even more than it did before. If your usual walking, biking, or public transport commute to the office now only requires rolling from the bedroom to the kitchen table, how about setting your alarm clock for an hour earlier to sneak in a brisk walk around your neighborhood? One way to make it more tempting is to seek out a coffee or breakfast spot a little further away than your usual haunt. Before you know it, you’ll be springing out of bed to lace up your sneakers.


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