Are You Sitting Too Much?

By Sharon Truelove

The American Cancer Society has done studies on the death rates of people “who during 1993 to 2006, and found that women who sat down for at least 6 hours a day were 37 percent more likely to die when compared to
women who sat for 3 hours a day during the time period studied”. Translation, sitting for prolonged periods, is bad for your health.


Dr. Alpa Patel, cited several factors, “Prolonged time spent sitting, independent of physical activity, has been shown to have important metabolic consequences, and may influence things like triglycerides, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, resting blood pressure, and leptin, which are biomarkers of obesity and cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.” Regulatory genes for glucose/fat amounts start shutting down after just four hours of setting. Also, vital enzymes in the bloodstream, reducing the body’s natural ability to process fat shut off.

What are some ways that we can change our “setting” lifestyle?

A standing desk instead of a setting desk, can not only keep us from setting so much, but according to some, it can improve productivity and concentration by increasing blood flow to your brain. It also burns more calories and helps posture.


If you must set for long periods, try exercising throughout the day versus at one stretch. Interrupt the setting time more. Our bodies needs to change positions throughout the day and move about in order to work efficiently. This will increase concentration and improve focus, decrease fatigue (mental and physical), and these breaks will allow your muscles to relax. Spread out long projects into shorter work periods, break it up with stretch breaks when possible.

I.  Some very simple stretches that you can do to get out of your chair are:

1.  Lower Back: stand and place your hands on your hips, and bend back gently.

2.  Shoulders: stretch your arms out and down – behind your back. You should feel the stretch in your chest and upper back. Gently roll your shoulders forward and then reverse directions.

3.  Head / Shoulders: Lean your head gently to one shoulder, and then the other shoulder – slowly. Slowly roll your head all the way around in one direction and then the other. The key is going slowly.


II.  Move at least once an hour:

1.  Do some deep breathing (this will get more oxygen into the cells).

2.  Getting out of that chair and stretching lessens repetitive stress syndrome.

3.  Getting up and away from your desk will also reduce eye strain by looking at something else besides a computer screen.

4.  Stand up while talking on the phone or sit and squeeze a ball between your legs.

5.  Make sure you lunch away from your desk.

6.  Keep a resistance band at your desk.

7.  Use a big training ball to set on at your desk.


Calculate how much time do you spend setting during the day?

Pick at least two ways could you change that amount.  Let us know your answers! 

Below are some helpful site and reference.


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