Silent but deadly

Photo by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

Erin Hill, L.Ac

By now, you’ve probably heard the news… You are dying a slow death by sitting. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I am just truth telling here. In a study from the British Medical Journal, researchers found,

if adults reduced their time spent sitting to less than three hours a day, life expectancy in the US would increase by 2 years.

That’s a lot of days, 730 to be exact, and it really puts things in perspective when the collective social norm is to sit for upwards of 6–9 hours a day for some people. What’s more, research shows that you can not negate these long hours of sitting by taking a long lunch at the gym or getting your regular exercise, no matter how intense or long your sweat sessions are. Furthermore, long sitting has been shown to have an independent relationship with cardiovascular disease, and breast, colon, colorectal, endometrial, and ovarian cancers as well as type 2 diabetes. The answer — more movement overall and less sitting.

So what do we do about it?

That answer is simple, we get up and we move. “Ha”, you’re thinking, simple but probably not so easy to make happen, what with your job and productivity right?

Turns out, the more breaks you take to stand up and let your eyes, brain and body have a break, move around a little bit, and get some endorphins flowing, the more productive you will actually be, and the healthier. It really is that simple.

How can you make this change as effortlessly as possible?

Download an app on your computer or your phone. You can find apps to remind you to stand up, move, meditate, help with your posture, improve the health of your eyes, and so many more. It’s a little overwhelming. When I was researching for this article, one of my search results came up with The 7 best apps for when you’re sitting on the toilet… but we can leave that for a different blog post. Point is, it can be overwhelming, so, we’ve picked out a few for you to try:

Apps for to get moving (stretching/exercise/yoga etc.):

  • Move — (iPhone/iPad) Customizable with a huge list of exercises to do while on your break and even with a list of ‘work friendly’ exercises so you’re co-workers don’t think you’re a weirdo for doing burpees by your desk.
  • StretchClock — (pc) Customizable with short videos coaching you through stretching and other exercises of your choosing.

Apps to remind you to just stop what you’re doing and get up:

  • Awareness — (pc) Chimes to let you know how long you’ve been at your computer. A subtle reminder that you have been sitting for too long.
  • Stand Up! (iPhone/iPad) Fully customizable and limits it’s alarms to your work day schedule so you don’t get dinged when out at lunch.
  • Time Out (pc) A simple reminder on your computer to give you a break.

Got a Fitbit or an Apple Watch?

You’re in luck, it’s easy to set your reminder mode to get moving on both! Got an iPhone? Just ask Siri to remind you to move throughout the day, she never forgets anything.

Start getting creative at work:

  • Take a walk with co-workers to discuss new ideas instead of your regular meeting around a desk.
  • Use a stand up desk or a treadmill desk to keep the endorphins flowing. We were meant to move people, not sit, squat maybe, but not sit.

Want to up the ante?

Take full advantage of your membership with Tune Up, we’ve got you covered with private Pilates and yoga throughout the week. At just 30 minutes each, it’s hard to say no. Not a member? No worries, you can book with us no matter who you are.

Get up, get out of the office and get moving. You deserve it.
Schedule an appointment with Tune Up now!

What are you waiting for? Get those 760 days back, reduce your risk for a whole boat load of other health problems and get moving. Your body, your mind and your boss will thank you for it.

Till next time.