Sitting all day can kill you. Think about all the sitting you do during the day, at work, at the table, in front of television, during your commute. According to a recent Toronto study, sitting all day can kill you, even if you exercise. With such “encouraging” news, how do you find a healthy balance? You can still stay fit while you sit.
What are the Dangers of Sitting All Day?
The World Health Organization reports that inactivity “is the fourth-leading risk factor for death for people all over the world.” Constant sedentary behavior can result in a number of health issues:
- Type 2 diabetes, which increases by 90% when sitting for 8 to 12 hours a day
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Metabolism issues
- Linked to obesity and high mortality
- Sitting for two hours reduces blood flow, raises blood sugar, and reduces HDL, “good,” cholesterol by 20%
Five Tips for Staying Fit When You Sit
The more you move, the healthier you will be. Make a conscious effort to move around, and you will combat “Sitting Disease.” Sitting for three hours less per day increases your life expectancy by two years. A few tips will help you get out stay fit in your seat.
- Stand when you can
Get up every half hour. If you need a bathroom break, a quick trip to the water fountain, or you need to deliver a report, get up and move around. If you work in an environment that permits you to get out of your desk, make it a habit every half hour. Remember when you are sitting at your desk all day, you need to be drinking water, not consuming sugary drinks or eating fatty, sugary foods.
- Straighten your legs
If you cannot get up, keep your legs moving. Sit at the edge of your seat and stretch one leg out in front of you. Lift your leg about 3 inches off the ground and tighten your leg muscles. Hold the position for 10 seconds and repeat on the other leg. Do the lift twice on each leg, every half hour.
- Scrunch your cheeks
Tighten your core and sit at the edge of your seat, keeping your feet flat on the ground. Scrunch your glutes together and hold for ten seconds. Slowly release the hold, and repeat four more times. Do this when you are sitting in the car, at your desk, on the couch, and at the table. Try to do the exercise at least five times per day.
- Tilt your pelvis
A strong core is essential for a strong back and good overall health. When you are sitting, envision that you are zipping up your stomach. Hold it for 10 seconds. Then, stick you bottom, and slowly tighten your abs to bring your bottom back to your zip-up alignment. Do 10 repetitions, five times a day.
- Strengthen your arms
When you are sitting at your desk, stretch one arm out so that it is parallel to the ground. Do 10 small circles to the front and back, and 10 large circles to the front and the back. Switch arms and repeat. Do this twice a day.