Stand Up For Your Health!












Do you ever notice that when you are at work, or working on a project, you often lose track of time and realize when you look at your watch that you haven't moved for at least an hour??

Or maybe you're paying a stack of bills, going through emails and facebook and then talking on your phone and the whole time you haven't budged from your chair??

Did you know that sitting for extended periods of time is putting you at risk for health issues? A recent analysis of 18 studies found that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have diabetes or heart disease, compared to those who sat the least. According to lead researcher, Thomas Yates, MD. - "Even for people who are  otherwise active, sitting for long stretches seems to be an independent risk factor for conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease." Another study, based on nearly 3,900 men and women over the age of 60 in Stockholm, showed that just sitting around may be actively harmful

But what if your job requires you to sit at a desk? Or, what if you really enjoy being a couch potato?? 

And it gets even more interesting to learn that even if you are someone who exercises regularly but is sitting a lot, you could still be at risk for health issues.

Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA's Life Sciences Division and author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, approaches the challenge of being sedentary in a different way. She was curious to find out why regular exercise does not appear to compensate for the negative effects of prolonged sitting. What she found is pretty amazing. She discovered that is the change in posture that acts against gravity that is the most powerful, in terms of having a beneficial impact on your health. In other words, regularly standing up from a seated position was found to be more effective than walking!

According to Dr. Vernikos, "The key to lifelong health is more than just traditional gym exercise, three to five times a week. The answer is to rediscover a lifestyle of constant, natural low-intensity non-exercise movement that uses the gravity vector throughout the day." What does this mean???  Well, when you move, you increase the force of gravity on your body. Anti-gravity environments, like sitting in place for too long, speed up cellular deterioriation.

To break it down even further, according to double-blind research conducted by Dr. Vernikos, the minimum number of times you need to interrupt your sitting in order to counteract the cardiovascular health risks, is approximately 35 times per day. And her research also showed that standing up and sitting down repeatedly for 35 minutes does NOT have the same effect as standing up once, 35 times over the course of the entire day.

So, here's my suggestion. You can do this! Set a timer on your phone, computer, or watch, and every 15 minutes or so, stand up! Just stand there for 30 seconds or a minute and then sit back down. That's it! That's all you have to do... Of course, it's also important to check your posture when sitting and don't slump! And just to be clear, I am not saying that I don't believe in exercise! I am hoping that you have hobbies or sports that you enjoy playing or doing that keep you active. And if you enjoy going to the gym or workout classes, that is great! 

The bottom line here -  sitting too long over the course of each day is simply not healthy. Our bodies were designed to move. If you incorporate the stand/sit methodology into your lifestyle, I think you will be doing yourself a big favor! And you don't have to disrubt your workflow if you have a job that requires you to be at your desk.  

That's it for now - 

Until next time,

"Live Now-Live Well!"




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