Reduce the negative effects of sitting

Sedentary jobs have increased by 83 per cent since 1950. It’s not the sitting down itself that will kill you, but rather the repercussions of not moving. Studies have found that people who sit for eight of more hours a day with no exercise are at similar risk of dying as people who smoke or are obese. Luckily there are ways we can counter these negative side effects.

Take breaks
Whether you’re sitting at a desk for work, at home or even relaxing in front of the TV, try to have a break every 30 minutes.

Exercise
A study of over one million people by the Mayo Clinic found that doing 60 to 75 minutes of moderately intense exercise daily can counter the negative effects of sitting. This may seem like a lot, but there are many ways you can integrate exercise without trying

Rearrange your desk
If possible, try to switch to a standing desk. If this isn’t possible make sure your monitor or computer is sitting on top of a box or books, so that it is elevated to eye level. This will mean that even while you sit your posture is upright.  

Stand up
While we may be used to sitting down while we do a range of activities, many of them can be completed while standing up. If you’re on the phone to family and friends, or even a colleague, consider standing or walking to get the blood moving around your body. Even watching TV can be done while standing or stretching, though it may take some getting used to.

Walk and talk
As much as we are used to sitting around with our friends when we catch up, it will be better if you go for a ‘walk and talk’ instead. Try getting takeaway coffees and strolling the block or combining your social get-togethers with physical activities such as hikes or beach walks.

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Written by Liv Gardiner

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