man sitting at a desk stretching his arms in active chair

Small amounts of exercise can dramatically improve your health.

One of the less positive aspects of our modern society is how much we sit still. Research has linked excessive sitting to health concerns such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Think about it. You go into work and sit—or more accurately in most cases, slouch—at a desk for eight or more hours, go sit in a car to go home, then relax with some more sitting. Sound familiar?

Now, I’m not perfect. I was definitely a champion sitter and didn’t utilize the active workspace I had set up as much as I should have. But it wasn’t until I realized that just keeping up with my children was a real struggle that I realized I had a problem.

I had become entirely sedentary overall, and one of the key things that helped me change my poor sitting behaviors was engaging in regular exercise. I thought to myself– can exercise combat the ill effects of sitting at a desk all day?

How Exercise Can Help Combat the Negative Effects of Sitting All Day

When we are too sedentary, according to John Hopkins, we significantly raise our risks of developing heart disease, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes. But researchers have begun to say that exercise can counter these risk factors. However, it may be more exercise than some people are ready to commit to on a daily basis.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have stated that an hour or more of moderate exercise can help combat the effects of being sedentary for eight or more hours. This amount of moderately-intense exercise is recommended because it can:

  • Assist you with weight control
  • Boosts your high-density lipoprotein levels (good cholesterol levels)
  • Helps with blood flow, which lowers the risk of heart disease and strokes
  • Promotes better sleep habits
  • Increases your energy levels
  • Improves your overall mood

In addition, new research from the American Journal of Epidemiology found even small amounts of exercise can drastically improve your health and wellness.

However, it’s best not to leave all the work to exercise alone. There are many ways you can fight against leading too sedentary a life.

Ways You Can Actively Combat The Negative Effects Of Sitting

Now, you may have seen the requirement of one hour of moderate exercise and thought that it was asking a lot. And if you are going from a pretty sedentary lifestyle, working out at a moderate intensity for a whole hour is asking a lot of your body and can lead to injury.

Instead of going from zero to sixty, recommends that you break up your workouts over a period of time. One way you can do this is by fitting in a 30-minute workout before heading into the office, then packing in your second 30-minute workout after you leave work.

Or, you can break your workout sessions down even more into 20-minute groups and engage in different high-intensity interval workouts (HIIT) to make each exercise session worthwhile. Following this strategy can help you live a more active life overall and combat the effects of sitting still all day.

Other ways you can keep yourself active throughout the day are:

1. Walk during your breaks

During your breaks at work, instead of sitting and scrolling through your phone, go and take a walk. Not only will this help your body shake off some of the effects of being still too long, but it can also help you reduce eyestrain and raise your productivity when you return to work. 

2. Use an ergonomic active sitting chair

One of the benefits of using an ergonomic active sitting chair like the CoreChair is that it encourages good posture, movement, and physical activity all while sitting. This means that instead of being slumped over on your desk, you are able to enjoy better posture, increased blood flow, improved core engagement, as well as many other health benefits. The best part– it doesn’t require any extra effort and it doesn’t take you away from your workstation– it actually helps you stay more productive and focused.

3. Set reminders to stand up

Sometimes we can become laser-focused on a project and forget that there are other things we should be doing, like standing and moving. You can use either a smartphone or an activity tracker like a Fitbit to remind you to stand up and move once an hour, reducing the impact of working at a desk.

By implementing these things into your daily life, you can use both exercise and active working habits to combat the effects of a sedentary life. 

Author Bio

Kevin Jones has mastered a busy lifestyle with work and fitness combined with family life. He writes offering solutions for cardio fitness as well as keeping families fit together by utilizing activities and diet. You can read more of Kevin’s writings by connecting with him online;

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