Why Sitting Is the New Smoking: Sedentary lifestyles can lead to serious health concerns like obesity, heart disease and diabetes as well as back and neck pain.
Sitting is a risk factor for these issues; however, you can easily mitigate its effect by including more physical activity into your daily routine. We have provided some tips below that will help you remain active at work!
1. Get up and walk around.
Sitting for long hours at your desk can be hazardous to your health. Studies show that those who sit for extended periods are more likely to develop obesity, diabetes, back pain and other ailments related to prolonged sitting.
There are various steps you can take to ease these concerns, starting with getting up and walking around.
Dr. Levin suggests taking a brief walk every 30 minutes in order to reactivate muscles and keep your body active.
Maintaining good posture is also beneficial; sitting for extended periods can deteriorate it over time.
Make time for yourself by getting up every 30 minutes or so to go grab water or make copies.
Key to successful weight management is making exercise something you look forward to and not feel like an obligation.
Make walking more enjoyable by setting a goal to include walking into your daily routine and creating a walking challenge with friends.
Another fantastic idea would be acquiring a standing desk, enabling you to work in an upright posture while sitting at your office desk.
If you don’t already have a standing desk, consider adding physical activity through treadmill walking or an exercise ball to your desk to increase physical activity throughout the day.
Stand while eating lunch or reading a book and you might be amazed at how much easier these tasks become when done standing up instead of sitting.
Best of all, this can easily be accomplished while at work – no problem at all and could even make for increased productivity!
2. Take a break every hour.
Have you heard the headline: “Sitting is the new smoking?” While sitting for long periods can contribute to early death and chronic health conditions, its benefits far outweigh its risks.
Recent research conducted by an international team of researchers disproves these claims by showing that while prolonged sitting can increase risk for certain diseases by 10-20%, its risks pale in comparison to the hazards posed by smoking cigarettes.
Just a few minutes of movement can do wonders for improving focus and alertness – not to mention mood! Consider stretching your legs, walking around your office space, or taking a brief stroll outdoors!
Finding what works for you when it comes to taking breaks is the key to maximising their effectiveness. Experiment with various schedules until you find what feels most suitable.
Ideal breaks should last at least 25 minutes and allow you to recharge without losing concentration. But it doesn’t need to be precise: Marjaana Sianoja, PhD has noted in her study that “the ideal break is one that allows you to take your mind off work.”
Studies suggest it can be advantageous to incorporate creative activities like painting or playing an instrument into your breaks, such as painting. Doing this will exercise both your right brain and prefrontal cortex while stimulating dopamine production. Furthermore, including healthy snacks during breaks may boost both productivity and motivation for increased work performance.
3. Exercise at your desk.
Sitting for extended periods can be detrimental to one’s health. Prolonged sitting increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, as well as leading to mental health problems like depression. But staying active at work doesn’t need to mean sitting all day! There are ways of countering these negatives while remaining physically engaged at your desk job.
Exercise at your desk can range from simple stretches to complex options like using an under-desk gadget that keeps you moving – whatever it is, staying physically active at work will help prevent chronic diseases and enhance overall wellbeing.
If your chair is too hard on your back, speak with your manager about replacing it with one that offers greater ergonomic support – this could reduce pain and discomfort as well as stress levels while increasing productivity.
Strength-training exercises at your desk include situps, leg raises, abdominal crunches and glute squeezes – just be sure to do them in an ergonomic position so you don’t injure yourself!
Make sure that you remain physically active at your desk by taking regular movement breaks throughout the day, be they short or extended; these breaks could last from just minutes up to an entire hour!
Make the most of your break by going for a stroll instead of checking email or sending texts. You might be amazed at what more work can get accomplished during these breaks by conversing with coworkers or walking down the hall to visit them!
Start moving! Walking can be an easy way to add physical activity into your daily routine, but keep in mind that just a few minutes of activity won’t offset hours spent sitting still.
4. Try a standing desk.
Standing desks have become more and more common across office environments and homes alike, offering users the opportunity to work while standing while contributing to better overall health.
People who sit for extended periods are at increased risk of heart disease, obesity, back pain and other related problems. Many of these can be reduced or avoided altogether by standing up and moving around every hour or two.
Studies published in the Journal of Applied Ergonomics revealed that standing for even an hour a day could reduce back pain and boost productivity, both through small movements and active moments throughout your day and from standing itself which increases energy levels further.
To maximize the effectiveness of a standing desk, it is essential that it is set up appropriately. A great starting point is the “90-90-90” ergonomic rule where knees, pelvis and elbows all meet at 90 degree angles.
However, you should also carefully consider how your monitor and keyboard are set up. Ideally, the ideal position for your monitor should be eye level (about 20 inches away from your face) with a 20-degree tilt; your keyboard should then be situated slightly lower than elbow height.
Additionally, it’s essential that you practice proper posture. Sitting with an awkward wrist position increases the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome – an illness affecting fingers and wrists – significantly.
Make sure that you are wearing comfortable shoes, and consider adding a standing mat to your desk for additional cushioning when standing on it. A mat can extend how much time you can stay standing without straining your legs or back, as well as increase how long that standing time lasts.
5. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Numerous studies have linked prolonged sitting to increased risks for cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes – leading many experts to coin it “the new smoking.”
One way to combat this problem is staying active at your desk job; however, this can be challenging when sitting for most of the day. Staying engaged without becoming bored may require deliberate effort if your position restricts movement too much.
Recent research has demonstrated that people who spend over six hours per day sitting are at increased risk of chronic health conditions such as cancer and obesity, insulin resistance resulting in type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome and other adverse health outcomes.
Researchers suggest moving at least 30 minutes daily in order to avoid such adverse health impacts. Small decisions like standing to answer the phone or taking a walk around your office building or parking further away can add up and add up to significant physical activity.
One great tip is to opt for the stairs instead of elevators whenever possible, both for health reasons and to reduce energy use in your building. Doing this will benefit both you and the environment.
Climbing stairs is an effective weight-bearing exercise that strengthens muscles in your legs, abs, back and arms while simultaneously decreasing your risk for osteoporosis and improving flexibility.
Stairs offer an easy and cost-effective way to add some physical activity into your life. There are stairs everywhere from homes and workplaces, malls and communities; no gym membership or expensive equipment necessary!