The Pros and Cons of Moving More
Some people like to get spooked on Halloween. Some people like to get treated. Either way we’ve got you covered with health statistics that run the gamut. Ultimately none of us wish to play Russian roulette with our health. It’s easy to think how much we move throughout the day is inconsequential. The eye-opening facts below will show you just how wrong that is.
You probably already know that sitting too long can lead to: sluggishness, neck and shoulder stiffness, weakened glutes, legs, back and hips, digestive issues, varicose veins and blood clots. But there’s so much more to be alarmed about.
Spooky Facts About Being Sedentary
“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” -Dr. James Levine, Director of the Mayo Clinic
Being sedentary is the fourth leading risk factor for death
Physical inactivity causes 3.2 million deaths per year
A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of …death by 71%
…heart disease by 147%
…cancer by 66%
…diabetes by 112%
…depression by 47%
…dementia and Alzheimer’s by 12%
Physical inactivity increases your risk of obesity. It slows down your metabolism. Your body has a hard time regulating blood sugar and blood pressure and breaking down fat.
Brain function slows, affecting both cognition and memory.
Your posture may be compromised which can lead to chronic pain and rheumatic disorders.
The US spends $27 – 117 billion in health care per year due to low physical activity
Reeses Pieces are delicious but nothing tastes as good as healthy feels!
Sweet Facts About Moving More
Sharper memory and thinking
Stronger bones and muscles
Weight loss and maintenance
Better mobility and joint health
If you sit for no longer than 30 minutes at a time, you will have a 55% lower mortality rate than those who sit for longer.
110,000 deaths per year will be prevented if people 40 and over get just 10 minutes a day more of moderate to vigorous exercise.
Moving for 2 minutes or more per hour reduces your risk of death by 33%.
The Problem with Being Sedentary: The Sitting Disease
Humans were meant to be upright and mobile. Sitting uses a lot less energy than standing. Moving boosts your energy, bone strength, muscle tone, endurance and mood. If you regularly sit for more than 90 minutes at a time, your risk of death doubles. It is unfortunate for our bodies and minds that sedentary jobs have increased by 83% since 1950. It is important to consciously move more throughout the day.
What You Can Do About It
Organize walking meetings rather than sitting ones.
Take a 5 to 15 minute walk after each meal.
Whenever possible, alternate standing for 30 minutes with sitting for 30 minutes.
Use an activity tracker to monitor your steps, working up to 10,000 or more a day.
Read your email while standing.
Exercise during commercial breaks.
Listen to audiobooks while being active rather than sitting and reading.
Fit five to ten minute exercise breaks into your day.
When you must sit, maintain proper alignment.
Being sedentary threatens our wellbeing and longevity. An inactive lifestyle can lead to obesity, diabetes, dementia, cancer, heart disease and death.
While the sitting disease is prevalent in our culture, there is a lot we can do. Some of the negative consequences of too much sitting can be offset. Being mindful of how long we are sedentary is important. Taking breaks from sitting and maintaining an active lifestyle have profound effects on our health.
Small changes can lead to big rewards. So let’s follow James Brown’s lead and “Get Up Offa That Thing”!
Juststand.org; cdc.gov; mayoclinic.com; ergonomictrends.com; eatthis.com; betterhealth.vic.gov.au; biotrust.com; businessinsider.com; prevention.com