Who would know synchronicity would play into my blogging about sitting disease to the point that I am now considering a standing desk!
The short story about me now researching the right standing desk comes from a circuitous route from my annual physical exam and then, over to my chiropractor.
It turns out my back is now in another stage of degenerative back disease. In my evaluation this is not a mind-body cure. I could be wrong about this. My chiropractor said if standing more as my plan one is, doesn’t get more relief, he highly recommends, you guessed it – a standing desk. So if you are one with neck or back problems this last post in this series could provide you some ideas.
How To Reduce Your Health Risk with Sitting Disease
We sit to work, are at our computers, maybe gather around with family and friends at the kitchen table, or our living room sofa. Some estimates are that on average we spend a whopping half of our day, half of it, sitting.
Get real about how long you sit.
I wasn’t shocked at the number of hours. But the online sitting calculator did not get me the answer I wanted in the risk area. And I took it three times!
While I know this website sells standing desks, don’t judge it being rigged. The assessment seems fairly complete with 12 questions – how long do you sit eating at each meal, commuting or spend driving and sitting, at your computer, watching television, everything. Then it estimates your risk factor. There are also many research studies referenced.
What is your risk factor? Mine is high.
Get up and move around.
Frequently get up. Get a glass of water or a cup of coffee or tea. Grab a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. The idea is to move. I purposefully do this every 25 minutes using the Pomodoro technique. This all has me thinking to even do this differently. All to get up and move
Researchers at the University of Queensland are developing a sitting pad with a built-in alarm to remind you to get up and move.
One simple change will help.
Stand more. Just getting up to stretch and stand takes seconds and likely gives us back hours, or who knows, days.
With standing more when at your computer or just sitting we can also have the benefit to lose weight!
So if you have already shed pounds now you know an easy movement to easily keep them off.
In the meantime, consider setting a timer for every 25 minutes or so. I use TimeOut to schedule reminder breaks every 25 minutes (Pomodoro technique and style). Likely you can find some app or software like this to help you.
Take a short 15-minute walk outside after lunch. This also helps to lower your blood sugar spike, and clear your head, this head clearing important for anyone to think better.
Check your posture.
No slouching and keep your feet flat on the floor with your hands in an L shape as you reach for the keyboard. This is particularly important with neck and back pain.
Finally get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate to high-intensity cardio exercise per week along with muscle-strengthening workouts twice per week. While exercise won’t completely offset the effects of prolonged sitting, it will help.
Little things add up.
Use commercial time, if you watch television, to get up and move.
Consider if you have a wireless printer to move it further from your computer, giving you more movement.
When you do get out of your office during the day, walk as far as you can to the entrance from where you are parking.
One last study to wrap up: Research was commissioned by the Cardiovascular Research Network and supported by the NSW Division of the National Heart Foundation Australia of participants 45 and up study participants. The findings: “those who were sedentary for half the day had a 40 percent increased risk of dying sooner, even when physical activity and weight was taken into account.”
The plan is a five-year follow-up to find out more with the 265,000 men and women about their health, lifestyle, and the medications and health services they use.
Studies are studies and there are always variables.
What is most disturbing is that 47 studies of our sedentary lifestyle all come to findings of one disease or another.
I want and plan for my body to last me. Thank goodness I am the final say in my office décor! That’s why I am researching a standing desk. What’s really attractive is that by just working in more standing I’m going to be burning more calories every day.
How much moving are you already doing?
Are you brave enough to take your guessing to greater accuracy with the online sitting calculator?