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Why Sitting Down and a Healthy Life Don’t Mix

Well Being Wednesday, May 15, 2013 Written by

By now, it should come as no surprise that sitting down for long periods of time isn’t good for your body. However, what may surprise you is just how bad it can be. According to the Mayo Clinic, the effects of sitting are serious and potentially deadly:

  • Sitting down for long periods has been linked to obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and increased cholesterol.
  • Those who spent more than four hours a day sitting in front of a screen had a nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, and a 125 percent increased risk of cardiovascular problems, such as a heart attack.
  • If you want to offset it with increased gym time, think again. That doesn’t seem to help offset the risks involved with sitting.

Many of us sit at desks all day. In fact, chances are, you’re sitting down at your computer right now, worrying because the stats above apply to you. Fortunately there’s a simple solution that can help avoid these problems – standing up and walking around. Here are some tips to get you going:

Take a Break from Sitting Down

Standing up for a few minutes every hour isn’t just good for a healthy life, it can be good for your business’ bottom line. You’ll be happier and more productive, which will probably make your boss happier, too.

Get a Standing Desk

Sure, they look a bit different. But a standing desk will keep you on your feet, keep your core engaged (which means better abs), and burn more than 300 calories in a single 8-hour workday, compared to sitting down.

Take a Walking Meeting

Is there a reason why you need to have your meeting in the conference room? The weather’s getting nice, so why not get outside and enjoy it? Added bonus: Chances are that people will be a bit more focused on the task at hand. At the very least, they’ll spend less time checking their phones.

Walk to Work

If you have this option, walking to work will help you burn a few calories and get the blood flowing before you hit the office. It’s also a great way to relax a bit and clear your mind before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.

Get a Pedometer

If you don’t want to buy one, chances are that your smartphone has an app that you can use. A couple of our favorites are MapMyWalk and Accupedo. What’s the benefit?  If you’re keeping track of the number of steps you take every day, you’re much more likely to remember to get up and walk around a bit.

The bottom line is that the less time you spend sitting down, the happier and healthier you’ll be. You’ll have more energy, be less fatigued and feel better overall.

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