weight, diet, sitting, healthy

Are You Sitting so Much That it’s Killing You?

You’ve probably heard by now that sitting at work and in your car and at home increases your risk for chronic disease and early death.

If you’re not familiar with this research you can read about it in my blog Why Sitting is the New Smoking.

Isn’t Standing All Day Bad for You?

I was recently talking to a patient about the risks of prolonged sitting and she had trouble wrapping her mind around why I was recommending that she stand at her desk instead of sit. In her mind she was recalling her days in retail when women would develop foot and leg problems from standing all day.

It’s true that prolonged standing can result in low back pain, swelling in the feet and bunions but shoe fashion plays a large role in those symptoms as well. 

The idea is not to move from sitting all day to standing all day – but simply to move. In the recent research article published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, those with the lowest health risk from sitting incorporated more movement into their whole day with things like:

  • gardening
  • house work
  • shopping
  • home repair

How to Stop Sitting All Day

Here are some recommendations that I make to my patients that you may want to try:

Get a standing desk. You can find them on Amazon or modify your work space at home. One of my favorite places to do paperwork at home is at the breakfast bar which is the perfect height for standing.

Take a walking meeting. One of my favorite ways to catch up with a friend or have a brainstorming session with a colleague is to hit the trail at a local park.

Walk and work. Combine the first two recommendations by getting a treadmill desk. Then you can stand at your desk while walking during a phone meeting. I found mine on Amazon. They start at about $1000.

Park at the far end of the lot. Whether you are going grocery shopping, to church or to a movie simply park at the furtherest point in the lot. Small activity does add up during the day.

Break it up. Sometimes you just have to sit. But you can break it up and change position periodically – water the plants, visit a colleague for 5 minutes, stand up to write on the white board, take a bathroom break and before returning to your seat stand in the back of the room for a few minutes.

I’d love to hear from you. What are some of the strategies you use to keep from sitting all day? 

image provided by © Abdone | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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