Are you spending far too many hours at a desk, hunched over in your chair, staring at the computer screen? And in the evening after dinner, you sit watching tv until it’s time for bed? All that sitting is bad for your health and recent studies have shown that how long you stay sitting at a time will increase your risk for an early death – even if you are exercising regularly.
As your total sitting time increases, so does your risk of an early death
It’s not just how much time you spend sitting in total; it’s about the duration of time spent seated without getting up to move around. Those who sit for less than 30 minutes at one time had a 55% lower risk of death compared to those who usually sat for more than 30 minutes at a time, according to REGARDS, a national study focusing on learning more about the factors that increase a person’s risk of having a stroke.
“The more we sit the worse it is. The longer the duration spent sitting, the more negative the impact on our cardiovascular health,” according to Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York in a recent CNN report entitled, “Yes, sitting too long can kill you, even if you exercise.”
Do you often have your lunch while sitting at your desk? Get up and move around after eating. Sitting in your chair after a meal leads to high blood sugar spikes. Getting up and moving around after you eat can cut those spikes in half, notes James Levine, an endocrinologist with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona in a recent article, “Killer Chairs: How Desk Jobs Ruin Your Health.
“Sitting is like the new smoking,” says Matthew Pacholko, a personal trainer at INLIV.
“Sitting is like the new smoking,” says Matthew Pacholko, B.Kin, a personal trainer at INLIV . “Most people understand the health risks of smoking now, but many are not fully aware of the negative impact of sitting.”
Matthew suggests taking a break several times a day to walk, and doing desk stretches – stretches at your desk to ease stress and loosen muscles that tighten while being seated for long periods of time.
- Take a stretching break two to three times each day.
- Hold each stretch until you feel mild discomfort. Try for 20 seconds or longer.
- Remember to breathe during stretching.
- Set a reminder on your smartphone to make it part of your daily office routine.
- Set a timer on your phone to remind you to get up every 30 minutes.
- Take a short walk around to improve blood flow.
- Don’t stay seated while you’re on the phone. Cell phones make it easy to stand and move about while you’re chatting.
- Plan ‘walk and talk’ meetings when you need to connect with a co-worker.
- Don’t forget to drink water.
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Matthew Pacholko, Personal Trainer, INenergy
With a Bachelor of Kinesiology in Human Kinetics, Matthew is committed to living a healthy and active lifestyle and helping others achieve their fitness goals through proper education and specific training. Outside of work, Matthew enjoys hiking, slo-pitch, dodgeball and hockey. Matthew is in the process of obtaining his CSEP-CEP certification to become a certified exercise physiologist.