What if I told you that if you reduced the time you spend sitting down to less than three hours a day, you could increase your life expectancy by TWO YEARS!? Who knew!?
This guidance came from research completed in 2012 by Peter Katxmarzyk of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The study examined the health risk of sitting for the whole population and elevates sedentary behavior (like SITTING) as an important risk factor, similar to smoking and obesity. Katzmarzyk further states that “because U.S. adults spend, on average, between 4.5 and five hours a day sitting down, a significant shift in the population’s behavior would be needed to have an effect on life expectancy. This might be achieved through changes in the workplace, such as the use of standing desks, and by watching less TV…” (excluding the occasional “binge” watching of your favorite Netflix program:) The average 4.5 – 5 hours, however, may be a low estimate. It turns out the average American office worker can sit for 13 to 15 hours a day!
And, if you are wondering why sitting is so bad for you, the Washington Post put together an excellent summary and graphic that examines a whole host of problems associated with too much sitting like organ damage, muscular degeneration, leg disorders, back problems, and much more. (see below)
So, who doesn’t want to add another two (or more!) years to your life?
Follow these simple tips to reduce your siting time –
- Walk across the hall to talk to a coworker instead of sending an email
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park your car further away from the entrance
- Take a longer route back to your desk
- Use a fitness tracker that counts steps and set a goal
- Watch TV while on a treadmill or elliptical
- Use a timer or alarm on a smart watch to remind you to stand at least every hour
- Use an exercise ball for a chair
- Use a standing workstation Sitting