If you work in an office job where you are prone to sit for long periods of time, consider this:
Sitting has become the smoking of our generation. ~Nilofer Merchant
Our sedentary lifestyle is slowing killing us. The human body was not designed to stay stationary for long periods, and the impact is greater than you may realise. Here are some scary statistics to highlight just how deadly sitting can be:
- Humans are sitting down more than ever before in history (even more than we sleep!)
- Sitting 6 hours or more per day increases your risk of death by up to 40%
- Sitting expends almost no energy, and increases your risk of diabetes and obesity
- People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs
As I learnt from Rosemary Marchese at the recent Australian VA Conference, it’s not about how much you exercise, but about how much you don’t move. The recommended 30 minutes of activity per day is not enough – incidental exercise is a must.
So what can we do to reverse the statistics and get our lives back? First of all, make sure that your desk is set up correctly for a healthy posture.
Secondly, get moving! Try a bit of Deskercise, and grab any opportunity to get up and shake, dance or jump about. Breaking up the time that you sit down can have a dramatic effect on the hazards of sitting.
Finally, try using an exercise ball instead of a chair, or even invest in a standing desk.
With a little bit of effort you can easily start to reverse the damage of a sedentary lifestyle. Take back your health and prolong your life by being aware of just how many hours a day you spend sitting down.
After scaring the bejesus out of myself when researching this article, I promptly rearranged my office to allow for a makeshift standing desk! Who else is scared?