Sitting has been declared the new smoking.
For the last decade, it’s become the norm to sit on our duffs for hours at a time. The average person sits for eight hours a day and much of that time is spent in front of a computer. We’ve become dependent on computers for work, shopping and staying in touch with friends.
For those of us over 60, sitting is even more hazardous to our health and has been known to cause type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. That’s because sitting is an unnatural position for the human body. If you sit for hours on end, you’ll start to feel its effects.
It may be a pain in your back, wrists, arms, neck, shoulders or legs. It will also bring your metabolism to a screeching halt, causing a build-up in blood sugar levels, cholesterol and body toxins.
Regular exercise every day doesn’t necessarily help if you work out in the morning and then sit all day. You have to move around in intervals to keep your blood flowing. If you work at a desk, a good rule of thumb is to stand up and move every half-hour. Walk around your workspace. Do leg lifts, lunges, yoga stretches or rock out to disco music.
Invest in a retractable desktop so you can alternate between standing and sitting as you work. You may also want to place a small treadmill under your desk so you can walk in spurts. Wear a fitness tracker to count your steps and set a goal of 10,000 steps per day. This will help you lose or maintain weight and keep you active, rather than sedentary.
Adjust your computer screen and chair to the correct height and eyeline to prevent neck and shoulder pain. Sometimes, what you think is an inner ear disorder is the result of sitting incorrectly at your desk.
It’s easy to scrunch over when you’re sitting at your computer, which causes neck and back problems. Be aware of your posture as you work and sit up straight.
When you sit, your organs squish together and it can cause indigestion, stomach pain or constipation. It also puts pressure on your thighs and can cause blood clots in your legs. If your feet suddenly swell, see a doctor immediately because a pulmonary embolism can be deadly.
Our twenty-first-century lifestyle almost forces us to sit hours longer than we should. We sit watching television in the doctor’s office, in our car, on airplanes, in classrooms, in movie theaters, in restaurants and on bleachers. That’s why it’s important to find more opportunities to walk and move.
The more active we are in our daily lives, the longer we will live. People who reach 90-plus don’t do it sitting down. They keep themselves in motion even if it means parking far away to walk extra steps to get to their destination.
What do you do to keep yourself from sitting at your computer too long? What ways have you found to incorporate more movement in your day? Do you have favorite apps or fitness trackers to encourage you to move? Please share in the comments.
Tags Healthy Aging