Sitting is the new smoking
You get up out of bed. Get through your morning routine to sit in the car to get to work. You sit/stand at your desk all day, sometimes eating away your lunch break at your desk. You sit in your car to go home. Sit on the couch to watch TV while eating your evening meal. You go to bed and do the same thing all over again the next day.
Sound familiar? You are not alone.
On average, most of us spend the majority of our days parked on our butts in front of a computer or television. We work sitting down, we even entertain ourselves sitting down. And our health is starting to show the effects. Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic Obesity Solutions Initiative, is credited with coining the phrase “sitting is the new smoking” and research is illustrating just that.
Some studies have suggested that being sedentary day after day and week after week is contributing to skyrocketing diagnoses of obesity, diabetes, heart problems and a host of other preventable medical and emotional problems. A simple Google search can lead you to thousands of results around the ominous titles of “Is your desk job killing you”. We know that sitting, just as smoking, is bad, but the solution is pretty much the same: don’t sit, don’t smoke.
Quitting your desk job and running off to become a forest ranger is perhaps a bit drastic, so what can you do to combat the consequences of too much sitting? You can take a break that matters by incorporating fitness and yoga breaks into your day. People who make it a point to move throughout the day, even for only five minutes worth at a time, are found to be more relaxed, happier in general and respond better to stressful situations. Stress, in fact, is one major contributor to declining health and introducing mini workouts in your daily routine can help you remain active, calm and more focused.
Even if you’re not an athlete, there’s always something you can do. Sign up for online yoga classes, try some strength training videos or even join a group for regular nature hikes. Enlist the help of a friend, someone who encourages and supports you, to help you on your journey. Becoming more mindful of yourself and your needs can also help reduce stress levels and even motivate you to exercise more in your spare time.
Every little bit helps. Start small and build a daily routine that will enable you to become healthier and live a longer, more productive life. Forget “sitting is the new smoking”, get up, get moving and work your way to feeling great!