Sitting will kill you

Sitting will kill you…

This was a recent article published in the news media (  Basically the research supports that an inactive lifestyle (sitting for 8-12 hours per day) increased your risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 90%.  In the age of computers, email, and conference calls, it is easy to become sedentary at your desk.  Also many people choose to eat at their desks due to either the burden of work or the ability to work a “straight 8,” or flex time.  There are a lot of little things that you can do to decrease the sitting at work.

Tips for work

  • If you live close enough to your workplace, you could walk or bike to work.  This really gets your energy flowing first thing in the morning, and also is a good way to unwind after a stressful day.
  • If you currently eat at your desk, consider taking your lunch elsewhere, or continue to eat at your desk, but take time after lunch to walk for 20 minutes.
  • Consider a standing desk or sitting on an exercise ball for your chair during a portion of the day.
  • Go “mobile” on 1 conference call per day where you are walking for the hour and calling in on your cell phone.
  • Take the long way when walking between meetings when you have a few extra minutes between tasks at work.

Tips for home

  • Don’t turn on your TV when you get home.  It is too easy to sit in front of it and be inactive.
  • Walk after dinner.
  • Don’t eat in front of the TV.

Recently at a conference there were cardio exercise machines set up in the back of the conference hall (exercise bikes, elliptical, and treadmills).  I was able to walk for 3 miles during an afternoon lecture.  It was very refreshing, and made it so I didn’t feel like such a “lump” during the conference.  This even influenced the lecture that I attended the following day as I wanted to go back to the room with the machines.  Imagine if our learning environments (universities, etc.) adopted this model- maybe it would reduce the “freshman 15.”