I’ve talked ad nauseam about the importance of regular physical activity in your daily life.
As a personal trainer, I fully believe that exercise is a very important component of taking control of your health. There is no question that physical activity/exercise isn’t the only avenue to consider when taking control of your health, but without a doubt it is an important component.
More and more people are not only taking positive steps toward improving their health, but are working on eliminating some negative habits they have developed as well. Fewer and fewer people are smoking, eating fast food, drinking high sugar drinks, and ignoring chronic health issues than ever before.
But there is one very negative habit, and potentially very devastating habit, that continues to be overlooked by a majority of Americans.
We Sit Too Much
I’ve talked about how much sitting we do before, but it’s such an important topic that I am just going to continue to harp on the need for getting on your feet more and more frequently.
To put it bluntly, our time spent sitting is killing us.
I red an article yesterday that paints a bleak picture for those of us that are sitting a little more than we should be. According to a study done at the Northwester University School of Medicine, the fact that the average adult spends 2/3 of their waking hours being sedentary (9 hours per day!) is going to catch up to you eventually.
And for those that are over age 60, sitting is even more “dangerous”. Each additional hour that those 60+ spend sitting per day beyond the “norm”, the risk of becoming disabled for activities of daily living increase by 50%! These activities include, but are not limited to, being able to bath, dress, walk, and use the bathroom without assistance.
If you’re like me, and the idea of staying in my house and being independent until the day I die sounds appealing, these numbers simply cannot be ignored.
Take Control of Your Health Today
The time to reduce the risk of such an existence is today. It doesn’t matter if your 70 or 7, you’ve got to get off of your butt more often EVERY DAY! The negative effects of sedentary living are reversible, provided you stand up more. One study estimates that by sitting for less than 3 hours a day, you can add two years to your life expectancy. I’ll stand for that.
I did a video post last year showing some ways to increase the amount of standing that you do at work every day, but here are some other great ideas to limit seat time and increase feet time.
- If you’re watching TV, stand up during the commercial breaks.
- On the computer, stand up and walk every hour. (Even better, standing desks!)
- Going out? Park farther from the store/restaurant to increase the amount of walking you do.
- Drink more water. You’ll be on your feet more to refill your glass and to go to the restroom.
If you’re able to do more, do more.
There are plenty of benefits of vigorous exercise, but this needs to be your bare minimum. To be clear, standing doesn’t eliminate the chances of your body breaking down as you get older, but it sure helps to reduce the risk.
And that’s a good enough reason for me to get on my feet a little more often.
What Can You Do to Limit the Amount of Sitting You Do Every Day?