Wellness Wednesday: Take A "Stand" For Your Health
It is one of life’s undeniable pleasures to get off your feet and sink into a comfy chair. It is also one of life’s cruel ironies that the things we love can often be bad for us: sitting for too long can have a very negative effect on your overall health.
The Dangers of Sedentary Lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle—where you spend most of the day seated—can be bad for you. You use less energy sitting than when you stand or move. Research has found a correlation between sitting for long periods of time and the development of a number of health issues. Too much sitting can lead to:
- Increased blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Excess body fat around the waist
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- Lipid disorders
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease & cancer
These Boots are Made for Walking
The CDC recommends that adults aim for 10,000 steps per day. Studies have shown that people who walk at least 8,000 steps per day have a 51% lower risk of dying by any cause compared with those who walked 4,000 or less per day!
- 10,000 steps may sound like a lot, but there are things you can do to make it a seamless part of your daily routine:
- Work at your desk all day? Take five minute walk breaks every 1-2 hours.
- Take the stairs instead of elevators.
- When running errands, park further away from the store. That little extra time to get back to your car can add to your step count.
- Enjoy listening to podcasts? Load up your favorite ‘cast on your phone and listen to it while you stroll around a safe area you know well.
There are a variety of pedometers and step-counters on the market that are easy to use and affordable. Using these devices can help you stay on track and give you added motivation to get out of your seat. Time Magazine also has this piece on how to stay motivated so you can maintain your exercise routine.
Standing Desks: Yea or Nay?
A standing desk can also be an effective way to get on your feet. Keep in mind, though, that standing all day can also have a negative impact on your health. The key is moderation: sit and stand throughout the day, but take care not to do too much of either.
Exercising at Home and in the Office
Another way to stay healthy and on your feet is to sprinkle in some quick exercises. Basic stretches, squats, leg raises, calf raises, and lunges will keep you moving and limber. Make sure to watch some videos beforehand to ensure you have the proper form down before you exercise: the last thing you want to do is strain yourself.
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