Get Up and Move
Sedentary Equals Health Risk
Even though I’m a fairly active person, my job puts me at risk because it’s sedentary. And if I’m under deadline, I can sit for long, long periods of time, which is part and parcel with being a writer, but these facts are making me rethink those habits.
The Mayo Clinic reports research has linked long periods of sitting to increased problems with:
- Blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Excess body fat around the waist
- Abnormal cholesterol level
- Obesity and metabolic syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease
Adults spending less than two hours a day in front of the TV or other screen-based entertainment compared to those who spent more than four hours a day had nearly a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, and about a 125 percent increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease like chest pain or heart attack.
Exercise Isn’t Enough
I thought I was combating these risks with my exercise routines, but research is showing this is not the case. What does this mean for the Klutzy Athlete? It means, I’m going to have to make changes in my routine, something that doesn’t excite me because I’m a creature of habit.
Here are some things I’m going to try:
- Stand when doing telephone interviews or when talking on the phone
- Invest in a standing desk
- Pay attention to how long I’m sitting and get up and move every 30 minutes, by walking, stretching or doing some yoga poses
- Walk to get the mail versus drive (it’s a five minute walk each way)
- Go outside and enjoy my new backyard with a waterfall and pine trees
There were also suggestions of walking laps with colleagues rather than gathering in a conference room for meetings, and getting a treadmill mounted with a computer screen. I know writers who do this and love it. That may be in my future, too. Eating standing up was also suggested, but I personally disagree with that one as I’m working on eating slower and savoring my food because I tend to eat faster when standing.
All of this is going to take mental adjustment for me, because change always impacts my productivity. But who knows, this could be a good impact because research is showing that making these changes increases energy and burns more calories. I don’t know about you, but I can always stand to burn some extra calories!
This week I’m setting small goals that I know I can achieve and build up over time. I’m going to cut my sitting time by 15 to 20 minutes per day and aim for two to three hours less sitting time per day. I’m going to remind myself that standing burns twice as many calories as sitting. And guess what? I did the edits for this blog standing up! Progress.
Do you have a sedentary job? What have you done to get up and move?