Don’t turn into a couch potato by spending all your time sitting.
Most Americans spend a lot of time siting. We sit at work, in the car commuting, and again once we get home. While it may feel good in the moment, all that sitting around actually poses a high risk to both your heart and your body. Scientific studies are now beginning to show a link between the amount of time we spend sitting and a person’s risk of developing heart complications. A recent Scottish study found that adults who sat for more than four hours a day had a dramatic increase in their chances of coming down with some type of heart disease. Some studies are even pointing to a correlation between the amount of time a person sits and their life span!
Science is also keen to point out that there are a myriad of other factors that can add to a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Lifestyle choices such as poor diet, smoking, or excessive drinking can also influence heart health and lifespan. However, excessive sitting can lead to an increase in inflammation present in the body, disruptions in metabolism, fluctuations in blood sugar levels, and increases in body weight or body fat percentages.
As a personal trainer, I tell my clients with desk jobs to get up once every 30-60 minutes and take a walk around the office. Go refill your water cup, get those papers off the photo copier, or go say hi to a coworker- whatever it takes to get you up and moving. I also greatly encourage my clients to get a standing desk. As I am writing this passage I am standing at my adjustable desk typing away so I can avoid sitting. Most office supply stores sell them, and if your office doesn’t have the space for one most manufacturers also make standing desk conversion kits so you can place the unit right on top of your normal desk with no losses in usable space or assembly required.
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