Hopefully, you’ve heard by now that sitting for extended periods of time is not good for you. New research even shows that individuals 60 and older who sit for an extra hour a day have double the risk of becoming disabled. Here are some of the top reasons to stand up more.
- Heart Disease. When you are sitting your blood flow slows and your muscles burn less fat. This allows more fatty acids to form, which could eventually clog the heart. Prolonged sitting has been linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. What you can do: Set an alarm hourly and get up and move. Walk down the hall, march in place, or just visit the water cooler to stimulate blood flow.
- Weak Abs. When you stand, move or even sit up straight, abdominal muscles keep you upright. But when you slump in a chair, they go unused. Weak abs can lead to lower back pain as well as affect your overall posture. What you can do: Replace your desk chair with a stability ball. This will strengthen your entire core because your abs will have to work harder.
- Osteoporosis. We build our bone density through weight-bearing activities, such as walking and running. When we sit all day, our bones are not getting the exercise they need. What you can do: Take a walking lunch break. Just 10 minutes of walking a day is enough to start you on the path to better health.
- Inflexible Spine. As the saying goes, use it or lose it. That is true with our spine too. When we move the soft discs between the vertebrae expand and contract like sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients. When we sit for long periods, these discs are squashed and the collagens harden. What you can do: Do one minute of light stretching for every hour you sit. One great stretch for the spine is yoga’s cat and camel. Start on your hands and knees. Exhale and puff your back to the ceiling like a cat as you tuck your tailbone and bring your chin to your chest. Inhale and dip your belly toward the floor as you lift your chest and gaze and reach your tailbone to the ceiling.
Need to improve your push-up technique or looking for more ways to move? Log on to the Signature Patient Website and check out hundreds of exercises, including pictures and videos. Not a Medi-Weightloss® patient? Click here to find a location near you.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.