The Dangers of Sitting: Why You Need to Get Up and Move

Sitting. We all do it. Chances are, you’re reading this post while sitting down. Consider how much you sit in a day – when you’re eating breakfast, driving in your car, sitting at your office desk or lounging on the couch after a long day at work.

People today are more sedentary than ever before. The environment, and our work conditions, limit our movement and encourage us to sit for extended periods.

Don’t feel like running an errand to find a gift for your partner? Just sit at your desk and do some online shopping. The Internet, email, online banking and more are making it much easier to sit on your behind all day and rarely get up.

The Dangers of Sitting

How can sitting make you unhealthy?

Growing research shows that long stretches of prolonged sitting can cause a whole host of health problems such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease

On top of these health problems, many people aren’t even sitting properly–causing joint issues, back problems and muscle degeneration.

Take a look at this infographic telling you exactly what sitting does to your body.

So, if you have the “sitting disease,” now is the time to get up and move.

4 Natural Ways to Add Movement Into Your Day

There’s no need to get a gym membership in order to fit some more movement in your day. These tips are easy to incorporate in your workday and don’t take a lot of time out of your schedule.

1. Stretch

A great way to get your body ready for the day is to do some morning stretching. This helps loosen up your muscles and joints, making you much more flexible.

You can also do some stretching at work. If you have back pain from sitting at your desk all day, here is a simple back stretch to relieve your tight muscles:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent
  2. Place your hands on your knees while leaning forward
  3. Round your back so your chest is inward and shoulders are curved forward
  4. Next, arch your back so that your chest is outward and your shoulders are back
  5. Repeat the rounding and rolling several times

2. Find Time to Walk

walkingHumans are designed to walk. It’s in our evolution. So, it should come as no surprise the health benefits of regular walking will help you on your way to a longer life.

Walking can help you with:

  • Reducing body fat
  • Increasing muscle strength
  • Having stronger bones
  • Improving the management of joint/muscle pain, stiffness, and high blood pressure
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke

What’s great about walking is that for you to see these benefits, you only need to walk 30 minutes a day.

So, what if you can’t dedicate 30 minutes a day? Try slipping in these walkable moments in your day: parking your car further away from the entrance, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and rather than email your co-worker, get up and walk to them.

3. Have a Quick Lunchtime Workout

If you live a busy life, it can be hard to find time to exercise. You know it’s healthy for you, but you just don’t have the energy to exercise after work. Similarly, you’re too tired in the morning for a jog or swim.

That’s why lunchtime is the perfect time to rev up your heart rate and get yourself pumped. Try to do some fitness exercises like jogging, and strength exercises by using your own body weight.

4. Try Standing

And when all else fails, try to stand more often in your day. Standing uses more muscles, which means you burn more calories than if you sat.

It may not come naturally to stand for no reason at all, so try doing these activities standing:

  • Whenever you get a text message or phone call, stand
  • If you have a snack, stand to eat it
  • If a co-worker comes to your office to talk, stand while having a conversation

Moving Is Just the Beginning

Transitioning from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle can take some adjustments. These tips are to help you ease into your fitness plan.

Once you condition your body to get up and move, try downloading a fitness-tracking app to help you set up your goals, recommend exercises and keep you accountable.

So, what are you waiting for? Tell us how you’re going to sit less and move more in the comments.

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