Did you know that one of the most innocent, non confrontational, everyday behaviors is one of the greatest killers of our time?
No, I am not referring to war, or plagues or nuclear and terrorist disasters.
I am referring to sitting.
We sit when we eat, we sit when we drive to our destinations, we sit as we face the computer at work or at play, sit while gaming and saving the world. We sit at the office, we sit on the bus or train, we sit in the theatre, and we sit to 'relax' in front of the entertainment center at home.
Every time we sit, we add up hours of potential ill health; increased risk of diabetes, higher chances of acquiring colon cancers, digestive disorders, circulation challenges, and to top it all off, our brains suffer from a lack of oxygen and we become dumber!
75 percent of Americans, and more, who do not exercise regularly (confirmed through 10,000 studies and growing), are proving that prolonged sitting is devastating to your health. Sitting actively promotes dozens of chronic diseases.
This according to numerous articles by Dr. Joseph Mercola (www.mercola.com) and others who have researched in depth the massive toll that the act of sitting too much has caused on people world wide.
So, it is not just the fact of not getting enough exercise that harms us, but it turns out that the very act of sitting is the factor that brings ill health.
Startling as it sounds, mounting research proves this fact, as does Dr. James Levine, in his book Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It.
His book can be found on Amazon.
Dr. Levine, co-director of the Obesity Initiative for Mayo Clinic/Arizona State University is also the inventor of the treadmill desk.
Interestingly, people in agrarian villages sit for only about three hours a day, but the average American office worker may sit for 13 to 15 hours a day!
In 2016, Dr. Mercola interviewed Kelly Starrett, who has a Ph.D. in physical therapy and is the author of "Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World." In "Deskbound," Starrett quoted research from Dr. James Levine showing that for every hour you sit down, your life expectancy decreases by two hours.
For comparison, Dr. Mercola explained every cigarette smoked reduces life expectancy by 11 minutes, which explains why some are now calling sitting the new smoking.
Starrett even mentioned a study that found office workers who smoked to be slightly healthier than non-smokers simply because they got up every 30 minutes or so and walked outside! Yikes!
Children, as well, need to sit less.
A study published in the Journal of Medicine and Sport revealed, for instance, that in first-grade boys, lower levels of physical activity and higher levels of sitting time were linked to poorer reading skills.
The nature of the human body was to be active and moving all day. The body was not designed be still.
What to do?
Think about ways to move more. You might pace while talking on the phone or check your morning emails while doing stretches, lunges or squats in front of your computer.
Improve a regular desk by propping up your computer on a box or an overturned wastebasket. If standing isn't an option, you can hopefully get up from your chair every 20 minutes and take a two-minute stretch or stroll.
You can find apps that you can install that will remind you that it is time to stand up and move.
Perhaps you can join a new social group or start a new active hobby, like gardening, swimming, walking. Be creative!
Even if you're chair-bound, seated exercises can also be very beneficial.
One of our instructors who is also a graphic artist during the day, says that when his companies' owners installed the standup desks, his energy levels and productivity at work increased. He also happily noticed the disappearance of the dreaded 3 o'clock afternoon slump he sometimes suffered from!
If you crave a little more interest, variety and usefulness in your chosen fitness regimen, then come see us. We can train you in ways and techniques to keep you safe in our self defense program and we will make it our mission to definitely inspire you and to keep your body moving (and keep your butt out of that chair!).