Is sitting the new smoking?
Coined by Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, “sitting is the new smoking” has become the mantra of 2014. According to Dr. Levine, a sedentary lifestyle has become a nationwide epidemic, more fatal than HIV. Working fulltime for a health care company, I probably hear the startling facts and figures more than most.
If you work in Corporate America, your experience is probably much like mine: working hours on end in your desk chair, staring at your computer, likely slouched as opposed to maintaining perfect seated posture.
Let’s keep this short and sweet.
I won’t bore you with the details, but I will share with you a few effects of extended time as a couch potato:
- Too much sitting increases your risk for several serious illnesses including heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, depression, and several types of cancer.
- Studies show that exercise and other good habits will not reverse the effects of prolonged sitting.
- Prolonged sitting can also cause muscular issues which only progress as you age, causing decreased mobility and other issues in elderly people.
Resolve to boot your sedentary habits in 2015!
The New Year is just around the corner, and keeping these tips and tricks in mind will not only boost your physical health, but also your emotional wellbeing.
- Move your body at least once an hour. If you are sitting most of the day, take a short walk, or stand and stretch for several minutes once per hour.
- Create a standing desk. Many employers have these available or will provide upon request. If not, it is well worth your time and money to create your own standing desk.
Katie Kubes is an American Council on Exercise certified fitness professional and has been teaching Spinning® classes since 2012. She also recently became certified as a Tabata Bootcamp™ trainer.
Katie has always been passionate about health and wellness, particularly as it relates to group fitness. She loves to motivate others to push themselves past what they think is physically possible.
Katie blogs for the Wellness Project monthly, where she shares fitness ideas, stories and motivation each month.