Is sitting down shortening your life span?

How many hours in your typical day is spent sitting? Many of us, especially when we’re at work, are glued to a computer screen, or sitting in meetings for hours at a time. That’s on top of the hours we spend sitting in cars, buses or trains getting to and from work, and relaxing in front of the TV when we get home.

But sitting down for extended periods of time can be a health hazard.

When we’re sitting down, we’re not contracting our muscles. Muscle contraction is an important component of the body’s regulatory processes. Sitting affects our body’s processing of fats and sugars in ways that increase our risk of heart disease and diabetes. Even if you make time for the recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day, breaking up your sitting time is important – even if only by standing, which uses more muscles than sitting. Little activities like getting up to make a cup of tea can make a difference!

Here are some other ideas: ·

  • When your phone rings, stand up to answer it, and walk around a little while talking
  • Move your rubbish bin and printer further away from your desk so you need to get off your chair to access them
  • Put reminders in your calendar to get up and move around. Have a stretch or short walk
  • Move your ironing board in front of the TV, then stand and watch your favourite shows while ironing or folding clothes
  • Stand to watch your children’s sporting activities
  • Take the stairs instead of the lifts.

I challenge you to choose 3 ideas and try to stick to them for one month. You’ll see how simple it can be to get up off that chair, both at work and at home, for a happier, healthier you!