Don’t be a sitting duck! Sitting ducks are an easy target for many serious health conditions.
Did you know that too much sitting is harmful — even if you exercise regularly? Research shows that being sedentary outside of purposeful physical activity (for example, running or going to the gym) raises your risk of developing many serious health conditions, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancers. It also shortens your life expectancy.
When you think about it, it’s easy to understand how we’ve become so sedentary. We can hit the drive-through at the bank or Starbucks, or take the elevator rather than walk up the steps. The airport has motorized walkways to transport us from one place to another. Many of us spend hours in front of a computer during the workday and a TV screen in the evening. In fact, the average person today spends at least nine hours per day sitting. That’s more than half of your waking hours!
The data suggests that we should ALL increase our standing and walking time during the day. In fact, if you are overweight, you should try to increase the amount of time you spend in non-exercise physical activity by two and a half hours a day. While that may sound a bit overwhelming at first, when you break it down into short intervals throughout the day, it’s really not. Taking frequent standing and moving breaks can quickly add up.
It may help to know that you burn 30 percent more calories when you stand versus when you sit. And the accumulation of muscle contractions required to move throughout the day actually uses more energy than a continuous period of dedicated physical exercise.
Here are a few tips for how you can Quit the Sit: • Get up every 30 minutes when you are on your computer. Take a break for several minutes to stand, stretch and move about. • Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. • Do chores standing up, such as ironing or folding laundry, when you’re watching TV. • Avoid drive-through services and instead park and walk into the building. • Stand when you’re talking on the phone. • If you work in an office, encourage your colleagues to stand during meetings • Take a short walk during your lunch break. • Use a fitness tracker to keep track of your steps throughout the day and set increasing goals for yourself.
St. Luke’s Hospital is an independent, nonprofit healthcare provider committed to improving the quality of life for its patients and the community. In its 150-year history, St. Luke’s has grown from a single hospital location to an advanced network of care. It provides personalized healthcare services in over 60 specialty areas at its 493-bed hospital in Chesterfield, Missouri, and offers 25 other locations across the greater St. Louis area, bringing quality healthcare services close to home. St. Luke’s is nationally-recognized for quality care and consistently earns high patient satisfaction scores. In addition, St. Luke’s is the exclusive St. Louis affiliate of the nation’s number one heart hospital, Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. For more information, visit stlukes-stl.com.