Getting up and moving is the key to survival. Multiple medical studies have confirmed that spending too much time sitting is wrecking our health. Office workers are losing the battle to live longer, and our sedentary lifestyle has become our own personal terminator.
The connection between sitting and poor health first broke in 2010, with an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Scientists studied 120,000 adults that sat more than six hours a day in their leisure time. Their conclusion was that these individuals were significantly more likely to die within a 14-year timespan than their colleagues who sat less and moved more.
In 2012, a study by the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health confirmed the findings — too much sitting creates metabolic changes that shorten your life.
The study also showed that when sedentary living extends from the office chair to the living room couch, there is even more troubling news. If you’re skipping the gym visit after work (where you’ve spent all day sitting) you have double the risk of dying within three years.
Just take a look at these shocking stats put together by Medical Billing & Coding:
Everything in Moderation – Including Sitting
The human body seems to be designed for a little of this and a little of that. Exercising moderation in most areas seems to provide us with a prescription for better health. Now take that prescription and apply it to how much most of us sit. Many office workers sit in front of the computer for eight hours, sit in our cars to go home, and then sit in front of the television or computer at night before bed.
But the human body has biologically progressed into a mobile machine. As hunter-gatherers, our bodies evolved to carry us miles as we searched for food and shelter. Studies have shown that when we sit too long, our metabolism changes, which produces more belly fat, the precursor to diabetes. Today we spend out entire lives in chairs, and not only are our bodies not suited for it; it’s shortening our lives.
A Wired magazine article stated our sedentary lifestyle contributes:
- 10% toward the risk of breast and colon cancer
- 6% toward the risk of heart disease
- 7% toward type 2 diabetes
The good news is, we’ve figured out the physical problems associated with too much butt-in-the-seat time. The American phenomenon of inactivity has even spawned a few new office products to aid you in your efforts to sit less and move more.
New Office Equipment and Better Health
One of the latest innovations for the office allows workers to stand up while at their desks. While standing desks may be considered a fad, their creation and design has been based on the scientific studies correlating health risks with sitting.
Interestingly, old-school thinkers like Thomas Jefferson and Charles Dickens adopted the standing desk while completing a considerable lifetime’s worth of excellent work. With prices ranging up to $4,000, today’s standing desk isn’t the simple wooden affair favored by Jefferson. Ergonomic, with a variety of height settings, these desks really are a great way, literally, to take your work to a whole new level.
Speaking of taking it to a whole new level, consider a Signature Treadmill Desk. Who needs to buy a gym membership or take the time to work out? Just head on over to the office!
Change Your Life by Moving at the Office
One of our favorite salespeople has a headset he uses when he’s on calls. You can see him through the office window, standing and pacing and talking. While that’s just his personal style, he’s a good model for those of us that sit hunched over a computer screen all day.
The first benefit of moving while talking is that it burns more calories. Studies have shown that the act of standing burns 40% more calories than sitting. Even the process of standing up from your desk chair helps your metabolism.
While we all tend to get a little immersed in our work, try setting a computer tickler to remind you to stand up every hour. That might even help you avoid the after-lunch “blah” effect, when all you really want to do is take a nap.
Remember that moderation is the key to health. This means that standing all day long may not be the best solution, either. A Cornell University study stated standing 8 to 10 hours per day could actually lead to varicose veins and an increased risk of constricted arteries.
With that said, some offices are even instigating “moving meetings,” which are conducted while taking a walk. Many offices have developed lunchtime workout classes that are free or low cost for employees. It’s great incentive to get up and get moving.
Choosing to live a less sedentary lifestyle by making deliberate choices to stand more at your desk job is one easy way to control improvements to your health. The facts are simple: living longer means getting out of your chair. If this one simple change could prolong your life, isn’t it worth making?
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