It has been known for some time now that being sedentary, lazy, inactive, etc. has a negative effect on your health. Sure, it is no secret that everyone needs to exercise and that exercise puts you farther away from health risk, but what about what we do with the rest of our day?
Lately research has shown that although you might meet the exercise daily recommendations, if you are sedentary with the rest of your day, you are still at an elevated risk for many health concerns. Think about it, if you meet the recommendations of an hour workout a day, maybe 5 days a week you are only working our 5 hours a week, that is hardly 3% of your week. If you have a desk job, are known as a couch potato in your non-gym hours, spend a lot of time traveling in a car, or anything where you are sitting of some sort, you are spending 97% of your week being inactive, therefore raising your risk. So what to do?
Let’s start with a sedentary definition:
(of a person) tending to spend much time seated; somewhat inactive.
synonyms: inactive, sitting, deskbound.
What are your risks?
- Increased risk of cardiovascular death
- Quicker rate of bone loss- leading to osteoporosis
- Increased rate of all cause premature death
- More likely to experience cognitive and mental decline
- Increased risk of high blood pressure and triglycerides
- Increased risk of stroke
- Lower ability to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
How to reverse this effect, be more active, and stay healthy:
- Be mindful of getting up to go to the bathroom every hour, half hour is better!
In between bathroom breaks, get up and go get a drink of water
- After you complete a task, get up and stretch
- Find some personal space to do a few bodyweight exercise during your work day
- Stretch upon waking AND before bed
- Spend more time on your feet- cook, watch TV standing, stand while working
- Clean your house more- it keeps you on your feet!
- Instead of crashing on the couch after work- go for a walk!