Sitting is the new smoking

Sitting is the new smoking

sitting is the smoking | The Beam
"Sitting is the new smoking" is the new popular catch phrase. If you haven't yet, you will.  But it isn't just a catchy phrase.  It is true!  

Sitting for 6+ hours per day makes you 40% more likely to die within 15 years than someone that who sits less than 3.  Even if you exercise. Now those are some scary numbers. And for many of us it is unavoidable.  Don't worry - after I scare you some more with numbers, I will give you some tips on how you can decrease this number. 

In case I haven't already convinced you that you need to get up and move more often, sitting also makes you fat.  Between 1980 and 2000 exercise rates stayed the same, sitting time increased by 8% and obesity numbers doubled!!  When you are sitting calorie burning drops to 1 per minute.  The Enzymes that help break down fat drop to 90% and the electrical activity in the leg muscles shut off completely.  Source:

For the couch potatoes, if you watch 3 or more hours of tv a day you are 64% more likely to die from heart disease. Even if you exercise!  

So how can you combat this?  Here are 10 tips from the article "10 Tips to Stop Sitting Still". 
  1. Wear a pedometer.  I personally have the fitbit and love checking my activity throughout the day. It reminds me that I need to get moving!
  2. Set a Get-Up break every 30 mins.  Set a timer and get a drink or stretch for 2 - 5 minutes
  3. Use a ball as a chair
  4. Pace while on the phone - walking burns 3-5 times the calories that sitting does! 
  5. Don't make things too convenient. Place things around the office so that you have to get up.  For example - set up the printer down the hall so you have to walk to get print outs.
  6. Get a treadmill desk - Now wouldn't that be nice:) Maybe not realistic for most of us!
  7. Take meetings outside the office - Also great for your mental health!
  8. Get up and talk rather than calling or emailing. Walk down the hall and have a face to face discussion!
  9. Sitting on a long commute?  This may be unavoidable so try adding a walk before or after.  Park a few blocks away so you stretch your legs before sitting down again. 
  10. Switch to wii - For gamers who sit all day, get active with your game choices. 
I know personally I will be charging the battery on my fitbit and making sure I am following a lot of these tips. It will be difficult as a lot of my job is spent on the computer.. but after reading the statistics I don't have a choice. Changes will be made! 

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