Has sitting become the new smoking? With a quarter of Americans sitting for over eight hours a day, the negative health effects associated with a sedentary lifestyle have become a concern. A study published by JAMA concluded that 40% of Americans get no exercise during the week.
Our bodies were designed to move, we need movement in our daily lives to ensure our muscles, bones and organs are all functioning as needed. Some of the risk factors from living a sedentary lifestyle include, obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, certain cancers and increased feelings of depression and anxiety.
Luckily, there are several simple changes we can make to create a more active lifestyle:
1. Stay Active at Work
If you work a desk job, try swapping out the chair for an exercise ball or a standing desk. An exercise ball is a great way to increase activity through the day, balancing on the ball will engage your core muscles. A standing desk will keep you on your feet and has been shown to reduce back pain and improve your metabolic health (Smithsonian).
Several employees at Madison Memorial have made the switch to standing desks and have confirmed that it has drastically decreased any neck and back pain.
JAMA found that by replacing 30 minutes of sitting time with light physical activity, such as casual walking, would reduce the risk of early death by 17 percent. Make walking fun, invite your friends for a nightly walk around the neighborhood.
3. Choose the Active Option
Take the stairs rather than the elevator, park in the back of the parking lot to get a few extra steps in, use the push lawn mowing rather than the sitting.
It’s all through the simple choices we make each day that can create an active, happy and healthy lifestyle.