We’ve written before about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. And a new study published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine reinforces what we already knew – sitting too long can kill you, even if you exercise.
The research found that prolonged, unbroken sitting is dangerous and that it may interfere with glucose regulation.
So, what can those of us in an office environment do to reduce the amount of time spent sitting?
Set a reminder to get up and move. Set a timer on your phone, use the Time to Stand reminder on your Apple Watch or download a free app such as Stand Up! Make sure you get up and move at least every 45 minutes. A few minutes of stretching, walking around or going up and down a flight of stairs is an excellent way to break up long periods of sitting.
Look for ways to stand more often throughout the day. When you think about it, so many activities or tasks can be done while standing. So, it’s important to be creative to avoid prolonged sitting. At Vitality, we’re fortunate to have standing conference tables so brief meetings can be conducted without having to sit. And we’ve got walking treadmills where we can take a call and be on the move while strategizing. However, special tables and equipment aren’t required. When taking a break for lunch, for example, there’s no need to sit while you eat. Or, how about folding laundry, paying your bills and watching a television program while standing?
Add more activity throughout the day. Not only do we want to make sure to move every 45 minutes throughout the day, but it’s also important to look for ways to add more activity. Park farther away from the office or train to get in more steps, for instance, or save 10 minutes during your lunch break for a quick walk around your building or block. If you work out in the mornings, perhaps add a short evening walk after dinner to stretch your legs one more time.
Whatever you choose to do, this latest round of research makes it clear: get up and get moving, as your health truly depends on it.