Does Sitting Have a Counteractive Effect on Gym-Goers?
One study found that prolonged sitting has a counteractive effect for people who spend anywhere from 2-4 hours a week at the gym, no matter how vigorous a workout they take on. For example, if someone were to exercise for 1 hour in the morning, and then spend 6 hours sitting at work afterward, many of the health benefits from the morning workout would be counteracted.
According to David Dunstan with the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia, the lack of muscle contraction caused by sitting decreases blood flow through your body, thereby reducing the efficiency of biological processes.
A recent study found that even one hour of sitting impaired blood flow to the main arteries by 50%. On the flip-side, however, just 5 minutes of walking every hour can subdue the risks of heart disease associated with prolonged sitting.
These findings are frightening– especially because approximately 80% of jobs today exclude any level of physical exertion, meaning 80% of people are spending on average anywhere between 5-10 hours a day sitting static for prolonged periods of time. This statistic proves worrisome considering the slew of medical literature available today show how inactivity (i.e.. prolonged periods of static sitting), significantly impacts your cardiovascular and metabolic function and is linked to health concerns including diabetes, obesity, and cancers.
What is surprising to note, however, is that even people who exercise regularly aren’t exempt from the health impacts of prolonged sitting.
Scary, isn’t it?
So, what choices can you make in the office to help protect the quality and longevity of your life?
Our Top Tips to Increase Movement in the Workplace
1. Move While You Sit
2. Use a Standing Desk
Changing your positions during the work day is extremely important. Start the day on your feet, then rotate between standing and actively sitting. By changing your body’s position frequently, you promote good blood flow and metabolic demand.
We, however, do not recommend standing all day. Standing all day is hard on the muscles and joints, can lead to fatigue, and can cause blood pooling in the lower extremities.
3. Walk on your lunch break
Another great tip is to listen to your favorite podcast during your walk. This is a great way to help calm your mind and take advantage of your time away from the office. Our top podcasts are The Ultimate Health Podcast; Productivity Paradox; and the School of Greatness by Lewis Howes
So there you have it, a nice simple list showing you different ways you can help yourself stay active in the workplace. By incorporating these into your workday, you can help counteract the negative effects of static sitting and remain active while at work.
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