Prolonged Sitting

[frame align=”left”]Prolonged Sitting[/frame]The average person sits 9.3 hours a day and watches more than 151 hours of TV per month (Fit Facts, American Council on Exercise). Many of us think we balance that out with an hour at the gym 1-3 times a week, or a walk in the evening. Research shows that what we do every hour through ‘nonexercise’ activity can have a greater impact on health than the time spent on the treadmill. Basically, our chairs are killing us! So, get out of your chair. Stand up. Move. Even if only once every hour – move. If you are seated for 60 minutes, get up for 3 of those 60.

It’s not really surprising how this has come about. We have done a pretty good job perfecting motion and time saving devices. Life gets ‘easier’ every year. We have TV remotes, Smart Phones, recliners, garage door openers, desk printers, phone headsets, wireless/keyless things, computers that completely engage our minds without lifting more than a finger or wrist, microwaves, drive-throughs, automatic car washes, automatic sprinklers, automatic dog washes, pills for every pain, vitamins and supplements to replace prepping and cooking a meal. We even have machines that move us when we don’t feel like doing the moving!

Simply put, we need to make life a little less about convenience and a little more about effort. We need to put a little oomph into our day. We’re getting soft. Losing weight and feeling better doesn’t necessarily take a gym. They take tuning in and making different choices. Sit less. Engage your body in simple tasks like walking, cooking, opening doors, carrying a basket versus pushing a grocery cart, standing while on the phone, shopping in stores rather than online, walking the dog, and getting up to answer the phone or change TV stations. Start thinking about everything you do and ask yourself how you can increase your physical effort, not increase your comfort or convenience. Simple choices.

Use a timer at home or at work. Every 60 minutes, get up and move…even if all you do is shake your arms. Move. Some resources inlcude workrave.com, the February Newsletter, page 2 on Short Circuit Training, and using an Activity Tracker. Before you move off this blog, stand up! What are some tips/tricks you use to make yourself get up and out of your chair?