For most of us, the at-desk 9-5 grind is the most prominent part of our reality. Cubicle gargoyles. Stiffly poised in front of a computer for several hours on end.
It isn’t fun, but it pays the bills.
Yet, person entertainment—or a lack thereof—is the least damaging byproduct of this lifestyle.
Sitting all day is killing us. Yeah, seriously. Our bodies are simply not built to be sedentary for long periods of time.
So let’s talk about how to avoid the negative effects of sitting all day.
But first… What are the negative effects?
I. A Body at Risk
Of course, most of us are well aware that being sedentary is usually not conducive to good health. But how deep does the rabbit hole really go? Well, research shows that it contributes to high risk of metabolic syndrome, stroke and overall death risk, heart attack, and other issues. The longer you sit, the shorter your life expectancy.
Studies also show that extended sitting disrupts metabolic function, resulting in a spike in plasma triglyceride levels, lowered levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and decrease insulin sensitivity.
So what’s the sweet spot for higher death risk? Sitting 11 or more hours per day. And it doesn’t matter how much you’re lifting or running.
Scary, eh? Yeah I know. It’s freaking me out, too!
So what could we possibly do? I mean, we need to eat, right? We can’t just quit our jobs and switch it out for doing laps all day or joining Grizzly Adams on an adventure through the great outdoors.
What can we possibly do? Well… let’s find out…
II. Scheduling Some Activity Time
Pick a scheduler of choice and pick a time to get up from your office chair and go for a walk. Preferably every 15 to 30 minutes. Granted, you need to be very diligent. Don’t just click ignore in an effort to get in some extra work—which reminds me…
You also need to be sure that you’re working in an environment where they’ll allow—or even encourage you to—take that many health oriented breaks. Besides, you don’t need to go far. Anything will do. Even if it’s just a leisurely stroll around your office.
III. Little Steps
No. You don’t need to do the cha-cha. Although that could be a viable option. Dance moves aside, the best thing you could do if you’re chained to a desk is to fidget. Yup. Fidget. Pace while you’re on the phone, jiggle your legs, circle around your desk while mulling over a big issue.
Those little activities greatly help over time.
So do that and don’t worry about looking silly. Your body will thank you.
IV. Ten hut!
Ok. You’re probably going to want to kill me by the end of this article because of the seemingly weird things I’m suggesting. But I promise that they work. So…the next thing I recommend is for you to work at a standing desk.
It’s hard to get used to. But those who have swear by it and refuse to get back to sitting. It’s not really exercise, but it also isn’t quite as sedentary as sitting all day.
V. Stability Ball
These are great for you. It allows just enough extra movement to make a positive change. Because you’re moving around a lot on the ball, you engage more muscles than you would sitting all day in an office chair.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll save your body from future aches and pains…
And you’ll be adding some years to your life as well.
I mean. A life is nice to have, right?