Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Avoid "Sitting Disease" with These Simple Tips

"Sitting disease" is the new catch phrase for a sedentary lifestyle. Scientists and doctors have learned that a sedentary lifestyle is much more dangerous than previously thought. In fact, we now know that it causes cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and shortens your life span.

The problem is that most people, perhaps yourself included, have a sedentary lifestyle by default. You sit at a desk all day. You sit in the car to get to and from work. Even children sit at a desk all day. Fortunately, the solution doesn't have to be complicated. You can escape sitting disease with a few simple tips.

1. Stretch

Spend time in the morning and throughout your day just getting up and moving your body. When you get out of bed, stretch your arms over your head. Bend over and touch your toes. Stretch from side to side too. This gets you immediately in touch with your body in the morning. Do the same thing throughout your day. Stand up, get away from your desk at least once an hour, and move your body.

2. The Whole Day Approach

Exercising during the day is a good thing. However, it doesn’t solve the “sitting disease” problem. If you still sit for more than seventy percent of your day then you’re probably sitting too much. Approach your day with a different ideology. Try to get up and walk every hour. Walk to the bathroom. Go get a drink of water. Go outside and get some fresh air.

English: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfe...Image via WikipediaWhen you run errands, park at the back of the lot and walk to the store. If you can stand at your desk and work, do that too. If you have something to ask or tell a co-worker then get up and go to their desk. Make moving a habit throughout your day.

3. Get a Standing Desk
If possible, get a standing desk. These desks are easy to make. You can even simply stack boxes on your desk and position your computer keyboard at waist level for a while. (One of my co-workers does this on a regular basis.)

4. Pace
When you’re on the phone, get up and move. Pace. It burns calories and it gets your body moving. Additionally, walking when you’re talking has been shown to stimulate brain activity. You may have more productive conversations.

5. Be an Active Watcher

When you watch television don’t sit on the couch, at least not the entire time. Get up during commercials. Get on the floor and stretch or do strengthening exercises. Get a folding walking treadmill and walk while you watch.

A Frisbee player catches the frisbee.Image via Wikipedia6. Make Leisure Time Active Time

What do you and your friends and family do together? Does it involve sitting for hours at a time? If so, consider changing your habits. Go for a hike together. Play football, Frisbee or go bowling.

Sitting disease doesn’t need to be combated by exercising for hours a day. Instead, look for ways to simply move your body more often. Your body was made to move. You have amazing joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles all designed to move! Use them regularly and often so you can stay healthy and live a long life.

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