Does sitting long hours really have an effect on your health? It sure does … even after a brisk morning workout.
The American College of Sports Medicine reports that we are about 30 percent less active overall on days when they exercise compared to days we don’t.
Maybe we move less because we think we’ve worked out enough for one day. Or maybe we just wore ourselves out.
Either way, it’s time to rethink our plan.
Because most people simply aren’t running or walking or even standing enough to counteract all the harm that can result from sitting 8 or 9 hours a day.
We are a bunch of “active couch potatoes!”
The American Journal of Epidemiology reports that a man who sits more than 6 hours a day has an 18 percent increased risk of dying from heart disease and a 7.8 percent increased chance of dying from diabetes compared with someone who sits for just 3 hours or less a day.
When you sit for more than an hour at a time, your body metabolizes less blood sugar, produces more fat and slows circulation in your legs.
Are you scared out of your swivel chair yet? Good! The fix is easy!
- Stand up at least one time per hour and move around for 1-2 minutes (fill your water bottle, tell your co-worker good morning, make a trip to the restroom).
- Plan your activity throughout the day — park far away from your office door, take the stairs , do a few lunges and calf raises, do a few stretches while your lunch is in the microwave.
- Set active appointments. Schedule a walking meeting with staff and co-workers, pace while on the phone, meet clients/customers at the door and walk them to your office
- Get the gear. Purchase a standing desk, sit on a stability ball, and use hands-free devices to help keep you mobile.
If you’d like more information on how sedentary behavior affects your health and ways to improve your fitness, read this report from President’s Council Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.