The Sitting Epidemic and How You Can Fight It

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By Erin Pittman

By now you’re probably heard about the dangers of prolonged sitting, but have you taken action to combat it in your own life? According to The Mayo Clinic, research has linked sitting for long periods of time to a growing list of health concerns. These include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high
blood sugar. Spending too much time seated may also increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

If that’s not enough to make you stand up while reading this article, how about this? Those who sit for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity have a risk of dying similar to the risk imposed by obesity and smoking. The good news is that 60+ minutes of moderately intense exercise a day can help counter
the effects of sitting, as can frequently disrupting your long stints in the seat.

Here are some ways to get up and moving without having to morph into a gym rat:

  • Park far away. This is an old one but a good one. Add 100, 200 or more steps to your day by skipping the closest parking spaces and heading further out onto the asphalt.
  • Develop motion triggers. Create a challenge for yourself that you will take all phone calls standing or walking. If you happen to still watch commercials, walk in place or do squats whenever they are on. Or set a timer to go off on the 50 of every hour, and use the last few minutes of every hour to get up out of your seat and stay in motion.
  • Try a standing desk. If you’re not ready to commit to a brand new desk, purchase a portable desktop one to raise the height of your current workspace. Want to improve that workspace even further? Try an under-the-desk walking pad.

The impact of movement of any kind makes a significant difference in your level of health risk. Get up, burn some calories, shake out the stiffness, and boost your longevity.

Erin Pittman is Editor in Chief of Prince William Living. What gets her out of her seat? Her two dogs, three children, and sometimes not ignoring those Apple Watch stand reminders.

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