This past week there were an amazing number of articles about the fact that sitting for extended periods of time is as unhealthy as smoking. In fact, not only can it lead to chronic diseases it can in fact lead to premature death. Pretty scary when you start thinking about how much time we Americans spend sitting!
According to a Video Mapping study conducted by the CRE, Center for Research Excellence , the average American adult spends eight hours a day in front of screens including televisions, computer monitors, cell phones and other technology. Throw in the amount of time we commute to work, and the better part of our 15.5 wakeful hours are spent in a chair.
But I exercise you say ~ at least 30 minutes a day just like they tell me to! A recent study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise linked sitting time to a higher risk of premature death in 17,000 Canadians in the study. Even after all the factors were taken into consideration, including weight, diet, medical history etc, the risk of premature death within the study group was more than one and a half times greater than for those who were less sedentary.
SO what do you do now you ask? What is my risk? The American Heart Association offers a free “heart check” test related to all of this. Put a treadmill at my desk? Well that is an option that some companies have given employees, check out Trek Desks’ website . A few other less expensive options: stand up when you are on the phone; implement standing meetings, park further away; stand at your kids sporting events; exchange your desk for a drafting table. Make a point to get up and walk around every hour. Unplug that electronic Apple, reach for a Granny Smith or a Fuji, grab your tennis shoes and spend a few more minutes in paradise: the great outdoors.
Author: Karen Hall