Sitting is just so spooky
WHO would have thought that sitting down is spooky stuff?
It's the new flavour of the month when it comes to research on health, and the results are pretty scary.
So let's get straight to the point.
Sitting for six hours or more per day is killing you!
Boom - there it is. You are 40% more likely to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than three hours - even if you do exercise.
The only way to get around this is not to sit for as long.
When we have a look at what goes on in the body when we sit, it's easy to understand why people with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people in standing jobs.
As soon as you sit down, the first thing that happens is the electrical activity in your leg muscles shuts off.
Reduced electrical impulses means a reduction in blood flow.
This can cause pooling and damage to your arteries and veins.
And let's not forget about DVT!
The reduction of blood flow means the muscles are starved of oxygen and therefore become fatigued.
This is why sitting around doing nothing makes you feel achy and tired.
The next thing that happens in the long term sitting equation is your calorie-burning rate drops down to burning only one calorie per minute.
Enzymes needed in the breakdown of fat drop by a whopping 90%.
No wonder we get fat when we just eat and sit around.
After two hours your good cholesterol drops by 20% and after 24 hours the same studies show your insulin effectiveness drops by nearly 25%, increasing your risk of diabetes and other diseases.
So essentially what happens is that by sitting for long periods at a time you are wrecking the only body you have.
Most of us have no option but to sit around all day because that's what our jobs require us to do.
Unfortunately stand-up workstations are few and far between, and as for driving a truck standing, well this should raise some serious safety concerns (I'm sure I don't need to point out the obvious but this shouldn't be done).
There's probably very little most of us can do to get around this whole working sitting thing but there are definitely things you can do to get you up off your butts.
The minimum recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise is a good start, but it is just not enough when you are sitting around all day.
You should get up and move every 1-2 hours at least.
So if you are office-bound, try taking all your phone calls standing up, or rather than send an email, walk over the old fashioned way and talk to someone.
I'm not sure how your boss will go with you doing jumping jacks in the office, but at least take every opportunity to walk around the office.
Use the stairs instead of the lift. And if you want short, sharp concise meetings, hold stand-up meetings instead of lounging around the boardroom. If you are driving all day, make sure you stop regularly, and when you do, take a few moments to walk around and stretch.
You, too, can walk and talk on the phone.
So the message today is plain and simple.
Don't just sit - get moving.
The 10,000 Steps program is a great place to spook your body out of sitting.
All the incidental steps you take to break up your sitting are accounted for.
So, what are you waiting for? Get up, and get moving!
Surely, you're not really still sitting, are you? Really?