Are you sitting down for this? The hazards of sitting all day and what to do about it.
Most of us can attest personally that a full day of sitting in a desk chair does not feel good on our body. Science is chiming in but also giving us some unexpectedly simple strategies.
In her new book The “The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer,’’ Gretchen Reynolds health and fitness columnist for the New York Times explores the new findings about exercise and the body.
Reynolds explains that sitting for long periods of time creates physiological changes in our muscles that can cause our bodies to stop breaking up fat in our blood stream, increase accumulation of fat in our liver, our heart, and our brain. The immediate symptom of this is that we get very sleepy.
Perhaps the worst part of this process is that muscles become less able to respond when we do stand up, moving becomes harder and harder. So sitting for longer periods of time becomes guess what? Yep, easier and easier.
You know what makes it easier to move? Booty Camp!
Actually Reynolds says that simply STANDING UP every 20 minutes changes how your body responds physiologically. Just by standing up for 2 minutes you remind your body how to engage and contract muscles and how to release enzymes that break up fat in your blood stream. You can make a big impact on improving your blood flow, decreasing your chance of diabetes, and heart disease. Reynolds adds that if you can walk even across the room you get a host of more benefits.
How to make this change?
For some people setting an alarm every 20 minutes works great. For others creating an easy way to do work while standing is a excellent way to build it in. Reynolds offers tips like taking phone calls while standing, or buying a music stand so you can read while standing.