For a lot of us it’s something we don’t even think about. We sit at our desks typing away and hours go past without us even standing up. Our bodies were not designed to sit for such extended times. Every part of our body is designed to move so why would you think that keeping it still would be a benefit?
It’s clear that as a society we aren't moving as much throughout the day as we need to and we’re eating the wrong foods in order to offset our lack of energy. It has become a destructive cycle that has been one of the driving factors in the nation’s obesity rates and yet it’s rarely talked about. The more you sit, the worse your health and you are putting yourself at risk for reducing your lifespan, no matter how fit you are! Think about the phrase "Sitting is the new smoking" and think about what changes you would make if the side effects of sitting were as noticeable as smoking.
The solution is very simple and we've known it all our lives: "Eat right and exercise more." Unfortunately the problem has become compounded because our 8 hour work days regularly turn into 10 and 12 hour days (sometimes even taking over our weekends), so we're finding less and less time to live the healthy lifestyle that our bodies require.
We spend as much as 80 per cent of our working day sedentary. Even if you take the time to get up at 5am and go to the Gym, that isn’t enough to offset 8 hours of doing nothing.
Our fat burning ability essentially switches off when we're stationary for such long periods of time. As well as contributing to back and circulation problems. Unfortunately the short sharp bursts of exercise that you’re doing to counteract your stagnate work environment doesn’t necessarily offset the imbalance; it needs to be about your total energy expenditure across the whole day whether we break up the sitting by getting up every hour or reducing the total time.
Some of the solutions are walking meetings, 'active sitting' on yoga balls and using a standing or treadmill desk. Sitting is embedded behaviour, most of us are not used to standing all day. It would take a huge culture change in businesses but it’s definitely one that needs to be addressed because it is an issue that affects nearly all of us.
When you embrace the concept that "Sitting is the new smoking," you will find that the less you sit, and you will become more engaged with what you're doing. Your focus and posture will be better which will lead to better overall health. It might feel awkward at first, but keep at it and notice what changes.
Today, sit less and do more!!