Life Coaching Blog “Can Sitting Affect my Health?”

“The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy.” Kenneth H. Cooper

“Can Sitting affect my health?”.  Numerous recent studies have shown that prolonged sitting can have serious health consequences.  In fact, the research shows that the more time spent sitting, the more likely you are to die an early death from any number of causes. The surprising part of this study is that the negative effects of prolonged sitting includes individuals who incorporate exercise into their daily routine.  In short, even if you are getting your morning run in, you are compromising your health if you spend the entire day in your chair.  There are, however, ways to combat these effects, without having to change careers.  Instead, change your habits.  Here are some ways you can break up those hours spent tied to your desk.  Choose one activity every 45-60 minutes.

Movement Breaks:

  • Stand up and walk.  It doesn’t matter where you are, you can always walk somewhere else.  You could walk around your office, through your house, or up and down a flight of stairs.  You don’t have to walk far, just take a few minutes to stretch your legs and get your blood moving.
  • Walk and work. A growing trend is incorporating a standing desk, or even a treadmill desk (I have one, and I love it!) into your working day.  Standing desks can often convert into sitting desks, or you can create your own by creating a platform to put your laptop on for portions of the day.  It’s an adjustment to work standing up, or while slowly walking, but you get used to it.
  • Walk and Talk. Every time the phone rings, stand up and talk.  Use your phone time as an opportunity to move your body.  You’ll find yourself looking forward to phone calls.
  • Can’t get up?  If it’s going on 60 minutes of sitting and you just can’t get up, maybe you’re in a meeting or in the middle of a project, choose a Seated minute move(see below for ideas) to at least get your muscles moving.

Come up with a good system for reminding yourself to move.  Set a timer for the first week on your computer so you are reminded to get up and move.  One of the beneficial side effects of this is that your brain needs a break too.  More productivity, and possibly even a longer life.  It’s a win-win!

Minute Moves for seated exercise: These can be done while sitting at your desk.  Do each for one minute.

Seated Walking: Sit up tall in your chair.  Squeeze your belly button toward your spine as you alternate lifting your knees towards the ceiling, until you feel the back of your leg lift off the chair.

Leg Lifts: Sitting up tall, keep your knee still as you straighten your leg and lift your foot up toward knee height then lower foot back down.  Alternate sides.

Leg Slide: Scoot yourself forward so just your bottom is on the chair. Extend one leg with foot on the ground in front of you.  Drag your foot toward you and lift your heel up toward your bottom with a squeeze.  Alternate legs.

‘The Well’ Kalia Kelmenson – mauimindandbody.com