STAND UP AND BE COUNTED
You may have been hearing about the risks of sitting too long. Do you have a desk job? Do you spend hours and hours on the computer? Have you considered a standing desk? We’ve done the research on this topic so you don’t have to.
THE DANGERS OF SITTING
It doesn’t take much sitting to increase the risk to your health and well-being.
ACCORDING TO MAYO CLINIC, SITTING FOR JUST TWO HOURS PER DAY CAN LEAD TO:
• Nearly a 50% increased risk of death from any cause.
• A 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain
(angina) or heart attack.
• Compromised posture due to the pelvis rotating backward putting pressure on the lumbar
discs. This forces the head forward and causes the shoulders to curve forward.
• Metabolic syndrome or slower metabolism.
• Impaired ability to handle blood sugar, causing a reduced sensitivity to the hormone insulin
and increased risk of diabetes.
Think of your TV time, online gaming time and desk time. Do you spend more than two hours per day sitting and immobile? If you do, there are simple ways to get up and get moving.
TIPS TO DECREASE SITTING
• Set a timer on your smart phone for 45 minutes. When it dings, get up
and move. Make a phone call or let the dog out or fill up a water bottle.
• Make all phone calls standing calls. Or better yet – walk. Even slow
pacing has numerous benefits. When you get a phone call, stand up
and be counted!
• Have walking meetings. If you need to converse with colleagues, take
the conversation into the hallways and walk. Or take it outside
if weather permits.
• Try a standing desk. You can certainly buy one, but you can also make
your own. Anything from cardboard boxes to 2x4s can work. Set up your
keyboard so your elbows are at a 45 degree angle and place a separate
monitor at eye level. We found an inexpensive standing desk option at
Ikea for $22 and another option (Adjustable Vented Laptop Table Laptop
Computer Desk Portable Bed Tray Book Stand Multifunctional &
Ergonomics Design Dual Layer Tabletop up to 17”) at Amazon
for about $50.
• Try a treadmill desk. Once again, you can buy one or make your own.
Even a very slow stroll is beneficial. This could promote weight loss.
• Try a balance ball. If you can’t raise your desk, trying moving your chair.
A balance ball will keep your core muscles moving a slight amount.
You may even notice a shift in your muscle tone.
If you’re not used to standing for long periods of time, you may notice that your feet are sore when you trying standing for 8 hours per day at your desk job. If that’s the case, you can reverse the sit/stand procedure for phone calls and sit every time you’re on the phone. Or keep shoes handy that are just for standing at your desk. Good luck!