Janet Marshall is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Living section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter. She thinks most things are fine in moderation.
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Join me in a workplace health revolution?
I just got up and did five sun salutations in the semi-privacy of our office meeting room because I feel like I’m dying a slow death in my desk chair.
It’s ironic that I spend my day doling out health advice while simultaneously engaging in an activity that scientists think may shave as many years from your life as smoking: extended sitting.
Researchers increasingly say that sitting for long stretches of the day is brutal for your body. Worse, they say that even if you start your day with a workout, you won’t do enough to offset the effects of being sedentary most of the day.
It’s depressing. I’ve always been a fidgeter and never been good at sitting still. I walk a few miles a day and do some yoga. But after reading so much about so-called “sitting disease,” and listening to my body — which is screaming at me to move more — I’m vowing to break up my hours of sitting with more quick bursts of exercise.
Want to join me? At least twice each workday, I’ll do either five sun salutations or five minutes of stair walking, whatever floats my boat. I’ll aim to exercise at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Feel free to call me to see if I’m up and moving; hopefully, I won’t be around to answer.
Better yet, send me a note about what you’re doing. Each workday, our Healthy Life Virginia newsletter includes an “exercise of the day.” So if you need ideas, and sun salutations and walking don’t appeal to you, try those exercises. I’m including some of my very favorites in the newsletter this week. I’d love to hear your ideas, too.
Any exercise you get before or after work is great. But keep in mind: Even if you exercise for an hour a day, that hour is roughly 1/16 of your waking hours. What are you doing with the rest of your time?
If you want details on why it’s so important to move during the course of the day — and not just during a fixed exercise time — click the links below. And stay tuned: I’ll share more information about the downsides of sitting in future blog posts.
- Why Sitting Is a Dangerous Health Threat
- The Facts: Sitting Disease by the Numbers
- Your Body’s Biggest Enemy