Can you believe this — “Prolonged sitting is damaging to health,” according to Australian researchers. Basically, if you sit for more than 8 hours, then your chance of dying is almost twice that of those who sit for fewer hours during the day. And worse, you don’t get any benefit to living a longer life even if you exercise, are normal weight, or are young. Give me a break! Who thinks up this stuff? This just isn’t fair.
I don’t know why sitting is so bad for you, but I bet there many of you who need to sit 8 hours or more day – for work, like a computer programmer or taxi cab driver, or caring for a baby or elderly relative.
So, how can you overcome the sitting problem? You can’t quit your day job or stop caring for someone. Rather, the best advice is to take mini breaks throughout the sitting period.
Mini Break Possibilities
- Take a stretch break
- Try standing for part of every hour
- Step outside for a fresh perspective
- Take a short “no cell-phone” walk
- Try one of these break ideas
Finally, on your “days off” from whatever is making you sit for prolonged periods, don’t sit. Try to avoid things that involve sitting like watching TV or reading crammed in soft chair for hours on end.
You needn’t run a marathon, but you can stand upright and do all sorts of things like cooking, reading the newspaper, and a myriad of household chores.
What ways do you incorporate movement into your day?
Dr. Stacey J. Bell is a nutrition doctor and expert on food and dietary supplements.