Get Movin’: Why Sitting All Day is Hazardous to Your Health

It’s a sedentary world! More and more focus has been placed on the amount of time people are sitting on the job and the lack of physical activity people are getting.

Sitting Can Shorten Your Life

According to the researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) in Baton Rouge, sitting for more than three hours a day may shorten your life by two years, even if you are physically active and don’t smoke.

A Harvard-based study that included more than 12,000 adults determined that taking a brisk walk for an hour every day cut the genetic risk of obesity by 50 percent. In contrast, the scientists found that sitting for four hours or more every day boosted the obesity gene influence by 50 percent.

As I sit here typing this blog, I realize that I haven’t stood up for about an hour! Some days it’s two to three hours before I get up and move. I’m sure many of you can relate to this situation and find that you too are a victim of prolonged sitting. So what does this really mean? In a nutshell, it boils down to moving more and getting creative with activity. Researchers have linked prolonged sitting to many chronic health conditions, so let’s get movin’!

Make a Moving Challenge

I have recently been challenging myself to get up and move at least once per hour. That may include a few simple stretches in the office, a walk to the copier, a walk around the building or even getting a drink of water. Here are a few other tips you can try:

  • Schedule “MOVE” time at work and home. (And stick to your schedule)
  • Get some co-workers involved in moving with you.
  • Research some stretches/exercises that you can do at home or work.
  • Download alert software for stretch breaks.  I use WorkRave
  • In the office, walk over to talk with a co-worker instead of emailing
  • Stand and use the speakerphone when on an office call

The bottom line is that we all need to purposely move more. The benefits of a little movement far outweigh the negative effects of being sedentary!

By Lacey Seefeldt

Health Management Coordinator at Avera McKennan

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