You may not be aware that Americans sit approximately 14 hours per day while we are awake, much of which happens at work. Sitting does not help insulin get glucose out of the blood and into cells. Instead, cells will begin to resist insulin allowing glucose to collect in our blood, leading to diabetes. This fall, 9Health Fair can show you where your glucose levels are as a baseline for change. Even those that reach the recommended 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer if they spend the rest of the day in a chair.
The idea that “sitting is the new smoking” was a conclusion primarily drawn by Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist for the Mayo Clinic, but has since grown in popularity with numerous corroborating studies. Dr. Levine’s message is simple: get up more. Exercise combined with less daily sitting seems to give the most complete health benefits.
How do we learn to stand and move more at the office?
Step 1: Get up. Your brain is in the habit of sitting in the office setting. Set an alarm every hour to remind yourself to stand and stretch your muscles. Incorporate resistance bands for extra office friendly movements.
Step 2: Get up more. Stand up while talking on the phone or eating your lunch. Use part of a meeting to stand up in the back. This simple act will also give you a boost of energy to remain alert and remember more of what you heard.
Step 3: Once you’re up, move. Master the art of meeting while walking. Convert your office computer set up to a stand-up workstation. Place raised shelves on your existing desk for a higher computer workspace. Fifty more calories per hour are burned by standers than their sitting office colleagues. In the beginning, only stand at your desk for a couple hours per day so your body has a chance to adapt and develop supportive muscles to prevent back, knee, and foot problems. Consider comfortable shoes and a supportive mat to stand on as well.
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