Just when you thought you were doing all the right things…eating more fruits and veges, getting enough sleep (7-9 hours), and having a routine exercise program after work…more research indicates it’s still not enough.
Apparently we weren’t born to have jobs sitting all day. Our ancestors certainly didn’t have that luxury. Of course, they had other things to be concerned about like hunting for food, finding clean water and finding shelter to avoid being eaten by prey.
We have evolved into an industrialized society with our safety issues being more refined to allow us to use our intellect in other ways, like going to the moon, buying a new car and investment banking. Lets face it, we are not only sitting more and doing less physical activity at work, but we tend to go from office chair to couch when we get home.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) every week, or 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous intensity aerobic exercise which can be running or jogging. Weight training 2 times weekly is also recommended.
As this article explains, even if you’re doing the right amount of exercise, you could be minimizing those effects by sitting too much. The benefits of exercise were essentially wiped out in those people who sat for more than 11 hours per day, especially in those who already had cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Even in healthy people, the study showed prolonged sitting can blunt the positive effects of exercise.
So what to do?
1. Try a standing desk
2. Get up and walk, stretch, walk up and down the stairs at work at least every hour
3. Walk after eating lunch. It helps digestion and gives you more energy for the afternoon
4. Bike or walk to work (if you can)
Build some type of physical activity into your day at work (and at home).