By: Kennedy Shelley
Have you heard of sitting disease? Well, it is a killer and you need to know your numbers.
How many people are active, and how many people are sitting their way through life? The numbers are scary, when you are inactive you put yourself at risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia and an early death.
The Journal of the American Medical Association ran the numbers and released them last year – and they are not good.
Nearly 25% of Americans sit 8 hours a day. How many inactive people are there? Over 44%. There are some who sit less than four hours a day but are still inactive, but that is a small group.
These numbers don’t include the time we sleep.
And this lack of movement hurts nearly every aspect of your health. It causes joint pain, weakens your heart, makes you vulnerable to infections and disease.
And it kills the quality of your life. Your sex life suffers. You generally feel bad. And then there is the pain in your joints and arthritis.
There are some things you can’t help. You are in an office. You have to drive to work. You sit when you eat.
If you are inactive and you sit a great deal you are just going to die earlier than you have to. Nearly 20% of all deaths are because people sit too much.
And sitting around all day is expensive. It costs $24 billion a year in the direct medical costs.
But the question is what can you change?
Getting up once an hour and simply walking around for 10 minutes will actually change your world.
No one has said that everyone needs to get running shoes and do a marathon. It’s small changes done over time that make the most difference.
One company divided its employees into two groups. They told half they would pay them to workout at the gym in the morning for an hour. The other half were given permission to take 10 minutes every hour to move around.
Both saw improvement, but there were much better results when you took the 10-minute break every hour. They lost weight and felt better.
A bad parking place in a full lot may be the best part of your day when you think about it. You get a longer walk to the store.
And you can compensate for having to sit a great deal of your day by doing highly active stuff when you are not at work.
It’s better to be balanced. You just don’t want to be like too many people who sit and are inactive.
And you are probably in the worst possible group because only 12% of Americans sit less and are also active.
There is an age component too. You need to keep moving as you get older, but unfortunately the amount of sitting and inactivity goes up as you get older.
So, what can you do? For $25 you can get a cardboard standing desk. It allows you to stand and still be productive. Stand up when you are on the phone. Take a short break every hour and walk down the hall for a bit of water.
It’s the little things done over time that will give you the most bang for the buck. Small hinges can open really big doors.
Hopefully you will be inspired to put a little more activity in your day so you can avoid the big problems down the line.
Have you figured out little tricks and life hacks to increase your activities? Have you used a Fitbit or smart watch to track your activity? Share what works for you in the comments below so you can help others.