Our modern society has allowed us to live a life of convenience. We load the dishwasher and simply push the start button. We hire a launderer to pick-up, wash, iron, and fold our clothes. We order our healthy foods online and have them delivered to our homes and offices. We probably ate those healthy foods while sitting and multi-tasking through other projects. We probably have been sitting at a desk for hours and even now as we are reading this article. So, what is all this sitting and lack of overall activity doing to our bodies?
According to a study in the Nutrition and Cancer magazine, sitting may double our risk of having colon cancer, while a different study in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise magazine found that sitting has been associated with a 54% increase in risk for having a heart attack. And, still, in the American Journal of Epidemiology, researchers have found that sitting can be as hazardous to our health as smoking, and sitting for more than six hours during our leisure time (so not counting work) was associated with a 37% increase in likelihood to die within a 13-year period. Moreover, these risks of sitting were found to be independent of any degree of physical exercise. This means that our society’s modern-day conveniences, which saves us time and creates efficiency, are actually causing harm to our overall well-being and that just going to the gym alone is not enough to counter-balance the effects.
So, what can we do to take charge of our health? Here are some ideas:
- Be purposely inefficient, so we have to get out of our seats more often. For example, we can go fill our water bottles with cold fluids, come back to our seats, go fill up our water mugs with hot fluids, and then sit down at our desk instead of filling both water vessels at once.
- Drink a lot of water, which we have to do anyways on our healthy foods diet plan, so we are taking more bathroom breaks.
- Deliver messages in person instead of by email or instant-messaging, especially if the person is in the same building as we are. This will even add a personal-touch and extra points if you personally deliver to everyone on your CC list.
- Park our cars farther from our destinations, so we can get in the additional steps.
- Make a conscious decision to stand whenever we talk on our cellphones. We can even pace as we chat, especially if the conversation is lengthy.
There are plenty of other activities we can do, too. Please share your ideas. Together, by standing up more often and pairing that with eating healthy foods, let us stand up for our health (pun definitely intended)!