Sit Less, Live More
People who sit for more than 11 hours a day have a 40% increased risk of death according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Needless to say, leading a sedentary lifestyle can have drastic effects on overall health. It has also been found that sitting can lead to colon cancer and other deadly illnesses.
Many of the negatives associated with sitting are due to the fact that being physically active is a great way for the body to receive oxygen and keep our muscles from atrophying. Physical activity also ensures that the blood and other fluids are actively pumped throughout the body for better overall function. This being said, standing for more time than you're sitting can also be bad for the body. Excessive standing puts stress on the calves, hips, heels and legs too. In fact, jobs that are linked to standing for long periods of time are closely tied with problems including varicose veins, lower-back pain, and increased risk of stroke.
So how do you find a happy medium between standing and sitting? Take a look at these helpful tricks to balance you out a little.
Remind Yourself to Move
Taking periodic breaks, especially if you are sitting for long periods of time on a daily basis, is important. However, reminding yourself to do so is just as important. Trying to remember to walk around your office building without being prompted to do so can often get swept under the rug.
Walk A Lot
Sounds simple, and eerily similar to the aforementioned daily walk, but this implies doing it even when you're not at work. Walking helps break up the monotony of your time on the couch, or your time slaving over a hot stove. A great happy medium between sitting and standing, walking can help circulate blood and keep you healthy. In fact, a nice leisurely walk post meal, increases the activity of lipoprotein lipase, a gene that boosts your metabolism.
You can even try parking your car as far away from the office door as possible and walking to the office a little. Getting the legs moving before you're due to sit for a while or stand for long periods will help with muscle fatigue and soreness.
Opt to sit at the bar whenever asked, and when you do, sit on the front portion of the bar stool. Seating yourself on the front third of a bar stool can help you maintain the S-shape in your spine and also help to distribute your weight more evenly for better posture. This way of sitting is known as “perching,” make sure to spread your feet wider than hip distance and gently roll your hips forward, arching your back slightly.
Moving around can be hard, especially if you're stuck behind a desk all day. So creating reasons for yourself to get up, move and still be efficient in your work is key. Stand and work at one place and then sit and work at others. Keeping the body moving at all times can trick it into believing that it's not completely sedentary 100 percent of the time.
Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.