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How Many Hours Will You Be Sitting Today?

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us are questioning the amount of sitting that we do as researchers point to the dangers. Most of us sit too much for too long, but after we agree, we just keep right on doing it. Today's digital world demands a lot of screen time and sitting may seem inevitable, but we really do need to put on the brakes to find new solutions.

What the Numbers Look Like

If you don't think so, consider what the numbers really look like. One writer recently added up the day counting 11.5 hours spent sitting in a chair or on a couch. Then 8.5 hours were added for sleeping. That left a grand total of four hours of activity. It's hard not to agree that is not enough time left to move around, to walk, bike, dance, or just stand and talk with someone. We are definitely short-changing ourselves.

The Impact of Sitting

German research scientist Ludwig Maximilians found standing, walking, working out or sitting all have different impacts on the brain's ability to retain and use memory. The German researcher studied brain activity with memory tasks with or without physical activity. Participants were tested for memory capability while riding a stationary bike, standing and walking. Here are the test conclusions.

  • Standing and aerobics speed up memory processing
  • Bicycling or walking beat sitting in visual working memory
  • Standing beats sitting to minimize memory mistakes

So What's Your Total?

It's clear that walking, standing and aerobics make the difference in brain performance, but what are we going to do about it?

Facing up to the figures with a daily tally may be the first step. Set up a simple daily chart and start logging in your daily hours, breaking out sitting and activities.

As the numbers stand out, you may want to start inserting 15-minute walks before breakfast,  a 10-minute walk during a morning break, or 20-minute walks or stretching routines after lunch.

Throughout the day you could insert 2-minute walks for each hour that you sit.

During the afternoon, you could add another 10-minute stretch or walk. After work, you could avoid the couch and walk the dog or walk to get ice cream with your kids.

Now your totals may start to look better as you reach 100 minutes or more with brief activities.

In the process, you may find you are losing weight and feeling stronger and more contented. It's all good. Just keep going.

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

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