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Ways to Target Sitting Too Much and Win

By Sandy Schroeder

We all know sitting too much can sabotage our health. Researchers say long hours of sitting can create lower back pain and impact the heart, the liver, and the brain. So what should we be doing if a desk job makes sitting unavoidable?

RealSimple.com suggests we target the actual sitting process first as we find ways to sit less.

Stand whenever you can - Do standing or walking discussions and stand when you are on the phone. Install a counter in your work area that makes it easy to stand to read or review materials. Or consider an adjustable workstation that lets you stand or sit to work.

Add some steps to lunch - Walk to the nearest restaurant, or do a 10- to 20-minute walk after your lunch. University of Missouri researchers say it only takes 10 minutes of walking to get the blood flowing and improve vascular health. Another option might be adding a fitness group to lunch. Invite a yoga instructor, or put together your own set of mat exercises.

Move while you sit - When kids do this we call it fidgeting, but it turns out people who keep moving around while they sit have less health risk than those who sit perfectly still for 7 or more hours. At first it may seem strange to be shifting around in your chair, but you might try doing some chair exercises to make it work. Release tension in the neck and the back as you twist and turn in your chair. At the same time you can do leg lifts or ankle circles.

Keep a canister of water on your desk - If you sip while you sit you will automatically take more restroom breaks. When you do, keep moving to do two-minute walks that can reduce your risk of dying by as much as 33 percent, according to University of Utah researchers.

Rethink your evenings - After a long day in front of your computer, it is very tempting to flop out on the couch at night. Break out of the habit with walks after work, game nights with your family, or sit down dinners with friends. On nights when TV is unavoidable, consider bringing in a yoga mat or treadmill to keep you moving.

Intersperse items in your schedule - Whenever possible, mix meetings, errands and other tasks into the work schedule to break up the sitting time.

Whatever you do to keep moving can be a smart choice for your health. Keep looking to find the ones that work for you.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dacula, Ga.

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