Literally! Well, figuratively too of course. But today we’re talking about literally standing, and why you should make that a priority to counteract the effects of sitting too long.
Long periods of sitting are associated with increased risk for diabetes, cancer, and can double your risk for cardiovascular disease. As it turns out, people who sit for prolonged periods of time (more than 10 hours a day) have elevated levels of troponins (a protein that indicates heart damage). While these elevated levels are not enough to qualify as cardiac disease, prolonged elevated levels could help explain why those who sit for long periods of time are at a higher risk of premature death than people who sit for less time.
Additionally, another recent study found that healthy middle-aged adults who spent more time sitting had signs of cognitive decline in areas of the brain connected to memory formation.
And now for more bad news…
According to a new analysis of studies of this subject published in the Lancet, you may be able to counteract the effects of sitting for too long with enough exercise. The catch? “Enough exercise” in these conditions is more than double the recommended amount of exercise for a healthy adult. This means a MINIMUM of 60-75 minutes of exercise every day.
The good news?
All hope is not lost! Combined with a healthy diet and exercise regimen, simply increasing
your NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) can be enough to counteract the dangers of sitting. This is the energy you expend apart from the thermic effect of food, your basal metabolic rate, and your daily exercise. Essentially, all the calories you burn from things like fidgeting, standing, and walking. So, no need to work out for crazy amounts of time!
Ways to increase your NEAT and reduce sitting time could include asking your employer (or doing it yourself) to invest in a standing desk, taking short 10-minute walks every hour or so, and walking or biking to work.
Last but not least, here at Healing Hands we are big believers in prioritizing wellness both at work and at home. We offer various services through our corporate wellness programs that can help get you up and moving. So make sure to talk to your employer about any number of ways to encourage movement in the office, and don’t forget…stand up for your health!
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