Seemingly harmless sitting increases risk of cancer, heart disease and back problems. Ditch the car. Walk to the office or grocery store (whenever possible). Use a standing desk at work. Walk over to your colleague’s desk to discuss matters instead of phoning or messaging. Install a treadmill in front of the TV to keep moving even while watching movies. Sit less, stand and walk more.
Working a desk job may be affecting your health far more than you realize. The World Health Organization has named physical inactivity as one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
What’s even more surprising is that if you think your daily workouts counterbalance eight-plus hours spent in a chair, think again. Research shows extended periods of sitting have a negative impact on your health, regardless of how much exercise you get otherwise.
Dr. Josh Sandell of Orthology, a world-class solution for rapid recovery from physical injuries and chronic pain, has outlined some of the negative effects of extended sitting and several ways to incorporate more standing into your everyday life.
The Trouble With Sitting
The act of prolonged sitting can lead to serious physical problems, mainly because a seated posture tends to keep your body totally immobile. Other forms of sedentary behavior usually allow for some postural changes and small movements that keep your blood flowing.
According to the Washington Post, long periods of chair-bound stillness may increase the risk of damage to your heart (and other organs), deep vein thrombosis in your legs, vertebral disc problems, and even an elevated risk for certain forms of cancer. Furthermore, a study cited by the American Academy of Family Physicians states that otherwise-sedentary individuals can boost their health simply by sitting less.
If you find yourself opting to take a seat whenever possible throughout the day, you may find the idea of spending more time on your feet a daunting prospect. Here are some simple ways to be more “vertical” during everyday life:
1. Consider A Car-Free Or Car-Light Lifestyle
If your workplace, neighborhood grocery store, and other amenities are within walking distance of your home, consider leaving your car behind and using your legs as a means of transportation. Even taking the bus is a healthier alternative, since it gives you the option of standing for most or all of your trip.
2. Work Upright
Standing desks provide several benefits; in fact, a Texas A&M study found that students who stand exhibited improved brain function. Since standing in place for hours has its own risks to the feet and circulatory system, you may also want to get in the habit of walking to your co-workers’ offices for conversations instead of phoning or online messaging them.
3. Add A Treadmill To Your Passive Recreation
Americans spend an average of five hours a day watching TV, according to the New York Daily News. Why not spend a portion of that time upright — or even exercising? Investing in a modest home treadmill means you can keep moving without missing your favorite shows and movies.
Take a big step toward preserving your health and longevity by stepping away from the sofa or chair whenever you have the option. The next time you feel like sitting, consider standing or walking instead!