Get Off Your Seat!

 Top 10 reasons why sitting is bad for your health.

Today’s typical lifestyle isn’t nearly as active as it was 100 years ago. Back then, people had to harvest their own food, wash clothes by hand, and walk to town. Helpful as technological advances are, one downside to it is that it can easily make people lazy. From sitting at a computer screen all day or sitting in your car to and from work to sinking into the couch watching television at night and cutting the yard on your rider lawn mower, people just aren’t as active as they used to be. The fitness professionals at McKinney Fit Body Boot Camp believe that this sedentary lifestyle has a negative affect on health to the point of shortening life expectancy.

What’s so bad about sitting and what can you do about it?

Health Problems

You have a job that keeps you on your backside for hours each day. It can’t be that bad for you, can it? Yes it can. In fact, sitting for long hours each day has been linked to multiple health conditions including heart disease, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, blood clots, high blood sugar, heart attack, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, excess weight around the waist, poor mental health, premature death, and death from cancer. Ready to stand up now?

What’s So Bad About Sitting?

When you sit for long periods, your muscles don’t burn much fat, so it’s easier to gain weight. Sitting around all day also slows your blood flow, as your heart isn’t getting exercised. Prolonged periods of sitting can also make you eat more than you need to, even though you’re not expending much energy. (Think: snacking mindlessly on popcorn, chips, or ice cream while watching TV.) In addition, a lack of physical activity raises blood sugar levels because your muscles aren’t using stored glucose for energy. All these factors contribute to an increased risk of weight gain, heart problems, diabetes, and cancer.

An Active Lifestyle

For some reason, studies show that people who sit most of the day can’t make up for their sedentary lifestyle by getting regular spurts of exercise. So even if you exercise each day like you’re told, too much sitting is still bad for you. Yes, exercise is good for you and getting some is much better than not getting any at all, but the key is to incorporate physical activities into your daily routine throughout the day, not just in one 30-minute time frame at the gym. McKinney fitness center recommends getting out of your seat at least every half hour to move around.

Get Moving

Whenever you have the chance, get out of your chair do some sort of light activity. Here’s how to get started.

• Rather than sitting at a desk all day, use a standing desk or high counter.

• Stand up or pace the floor while you’re talking on the phone.

• While at work, use a smaller coffee cup or water bottle so you’ll have to get up more frequently to get a refill.

• Take a walk during your lunch break.

• On long car rides, make frequent pit stops to stretch your legs.

• During commercial breaks, get off the couch and do some push-ups or sit-ups.

• Stand up while you’re folding laundry.

• Plan family events around fun physical activities rather than movies and board games.

Get Your 10,000

Many people find it helpful to have a goal to work towards each day. For long-term health rewards and to reduce your risk of chronic disease, you should aim to take at least 10,000 steps a day. For weight loss and to get in shape, you’ll likely require more than that, but 10,000 is a good place to start.

Wearing a pedometer is a simple way to track your number of steps. If you’re not getting your daily recommended number of steps, work to increase your total by 20 percent each week until you reach 10,000 on a consistent basis. Then keep going!

Risk Watch. McKinney bootcamp reviewed several studies and found that adults who watch more than four hours of TV a day have a 50 percent greater risk of death and a 125 percent increased risk for heart problems compared to adults who watch less than two hours of TV a day.