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Sitting Is the New Smoking

Modern technology is wonderful. You can be in front of your computer and send an email in a second, but what we tend to disregard is the long term postural and physical effects of prolonged sitting at that computer!

The Downside to Sitting on Your Butt

Receptionist

Are you chained to your desk?

Sedentary living now seems to be the norm, and exercise is subsequently viewed as something to incorporate as a protection against that sedentary lifestyle. Here are some of the pitfalls of excessive sitting:

  • Back pain
  • The potential to shorten life
  • Oxygen flow is impeded in the body, leading to increased fatigue and potentially higher stress levels
  • Decreases in bone mineral density without increases in bone formation, which increases the possibility of fracture
  • Increases in blood pressure by decreasing the diameter of arteries
  • Decreases in the activity of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which helps dissolve fat

The Active Couch Potato Phenomenon

Studies have demonstrated that excessive sitting remains harmful even if you get the recommended 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise five days a week. If you work in an office, watch TV for several hours each evening and have long commutes to work each day, you’re spending the vast majority of your waking life on your butt!

Here’s what you can do to offset the detrimental effects of being a couch potato:

  • Walk or bike to work, is possible
  • Work at a standing desk or a treadmill desk
  • Stand up at meetings!
  • Place an active sitting disc on your chair and sit on it. (promotes proper posture and helps to strengthen core muscles.)
  • Set a timer to remind yourself to stand up and stretch and walk every 45 to 60 minutes. You can use apps designed to help, such as Time Out (Mac) or Workrave (Windows).
  • Drink copious amounts of water while you work or watch TV. Not only will you have to get up frequently, but you’ll also hydrate your body!

Make these suggestions part of your lifestyle habits, it will definitely make a difference! Call us if you have any questions!

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