Is sitting really the new smoking?

Today I want to talk to you about sitting…is it really that bad for you?

Come on…is it really the new smoking?

Have you seen the recent ads on TV from Sport Aus promoting ‘Find Your 30’? I think this is a great idea – movement is such a critical part of good health and energy levels. And I want to take this one step further.  

Yes, 30 minutes of exercise is fantastic especially if you’re not used to doing any exercise at all. In fact, a lot of clients say it’s even hard to fit in 30 minutes of exercise a day let alone any more than that.

But we can’t stop the conversation there!  

Because unfortunately, the research shows that regular short bursts of intense exercise isn’t enough to combat the negative impact of long periods of sitting (whether it be at a desk, in the car, sitting reading etc, or in front of the TV.

In 2012, The Victorian Health Promotion Foundation stated that long periods of sitting can be more detrimental to health than shorter (<20 minutes) more frequent periods.

Research in Australia has found that the average office based worker spends 75% of work hours in sedentary postures! That’s a lot of time not moving!!   

“So what!” you may be saying…

Well, think again because here is a list of negative health consequences that result from excess time sitting –

·      Premature mortality

·      Increased risk of developing diabetes

·      Increased risk of cardiovascular disease

·      Muscle and joint pain

·      Increased risk of mental disorders and depression

·      Fatigue

All of these occur, irrespective of time spent exercising.

Scary but true! 

You may be asking then, what is the solution for me?

I’m glad you asked!

Here are 5 simple tips that you can implement straight away –  

1.     Change your posture regularly (don’t sit or stand for lengthy periods of time)

2.     Have sit to stand work stations available for use

3.     Park your car further away and walk to work or get off the bus a stop earlier and walk

4.     Have standing or walking meetings (even have it outside if possible)

5.     Make sure you take a lunch break away from your desk and go for a walk (even if it’s only for 5-10 minutes)

So you see, it’s not that hard to stay more active if you make it a priority.

I’d love to hear what you do to stay active during the day, so leave any comments below.

Remember, only YOU have the power to steer your own course to a healthier life.