Did you know that sitting for long periods of time is a risk factor for early death? But you already knew that, didn’t you? Not to scare you or anything, but new studies show that no matter how much you exercise, staying sedentary for too long can be a huge health risk . According to this article from CNN “There’s a direct relationship between time spent sitting and your risk of early mortality of any cause, researchers said, based on a study of nearly 8,000 adults. As your total sitting time increases, so does your risk of an early death” .
Sitting for too long can cause a multitude of problems .
Here are some examples:
● Organ damage to your heart, pancreas, and colon.
● Digestive problems
● Decrease in brain function
● Posture problems like a strained neck or tight shoulders, not to mention back problems.
● Increased rate of muscle degeneration
● Leg disorders such as the appearance of varicose veins and weak bones.
So how do you reduce your mortality risk if you are an office worker who sits at a desk for eight hours a day, 5 days a week? The trick is to get out of that chair every 30 consecutive minutes of sitting.
Stand up! Move around! Set your timer and take a movement break every 30 minutes. Use an online timer like Toggl. There are nice and easy to use online timers that can help you with this. Check out this list here .
Here are other ways to get some movement into your day:
● Instead of sending an email, walk to your co-worker’s cubicle and tell them instead what you would have written.
● Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
● Ride a bike to work.
● If riding a bike is not feasible, park your car further away from the entrance to get in a couple more steps.
● Try using a standing desk (my favorite).
What is a standing desk?
A standing desk is basically a desk that allows you to work while standing up. You can create your own standing desk setup by placing elevators, such as boxes or a laptop stand on your desk to elevate your laptop or keyboard and monitor/s.
I’m lucky to have a desk that has an elevated shelf attached to the side, which is just the perfect height for creating my own standing desk set-up. I alternate between using my usual desk setup and then using my standing desk. I started using it when my back was beginning to give me problems. Too much sitting had me hunched over with really bad posture. The standing desk improved my posture and reduced the pain in my lower back. It also reduced my neck pain since we tend to slide our heads forward when we hunch.
Some studies also show that aside from reducing health risk like the ones I previously mentioned, standing desks can also boost productivity and improve your mood and energy levels. So, go ahead and try it! See for yourself if it really does work wonders. If you have any experience using a standing desk, we’d love to hear about them in the comments. Stay humble and hustle hard.
Written by Jaie O. The Help