Is sitting a new disease? And how to burn more calories in our modern world

 

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I stumbled upon this very interesting article on the TIME magazine blog. I am sure a lot of you out there feel guilt from prolonged sitting throughout the day… I mean…I know I do!! How can we be active and healthy if we sleep for 6-8 hours, the jump into a car to commute to school/work, then sit for 8-12 hours at work, then come home and reward ourselves with a few hours of TV? Evolutionary speaking our body was not made for prolonged sitting. Our body was made to be in continuous motion which helped develop and maximize our brain potential. Nowadays our modern day, fast-paced, sedentary lifestyle has led to a plague a chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. This article explores why sitting is adversely affecting your health and provides several tips on how to change your lifestyle (and workplace) to burn more calories! Ever heard of a DIY standing desk? This is a must read for people entering the workforce. The time to change is now! The time to prevent these chronic diseases is now regardless of your age… Here is a small excerpt from the article, click on the link below to access the full article. 

 

 

“It’s not entirely our fault. As we moved from an active, agricultural lifestyle to one of offices and automated transport, every aspect of our day, from our meals to our jobs and our entertainment, have been adapted with one priority in mind: our comfort. Where our ancestors spent the large bulk of their waking hours on the go, modern life entails sitting for as much as half the day (and that’s not counting sleeping).

The first studies to connect sedentary behavior to poor health emerged in recent decades when scientists started to confirm, in a reproducible way, the effect that extra pounds can have on the body. In these large analyses of men and women of nearly every age, the message was clear: People who spent more hours of the day sitting were more likely to develop a host of health problems…

Studies have long connected sedentary behavior to poor health, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity and hypertension. But doctors thought those problems could be traced to the fact that people who sat more were probably just not working out very much…

But while exercise is critical, it alone can’t make up for the ills of idleness. New research shows there’s a big difference between exercising too little and sitting too much. That’s because a standing body uses energy altogether differently from a sedentary body—and also from an exercising one. We burn calories at a different rate, store them in different ways, and our brains function differently, too. While data is still emerging, one experiment with high school kids found that standing in class instead of sitting improved their test scores by 20%.”

 

Click on this link to access the full article: http://time.com/sitting/?linkId=9487068

or… read this promotional poster for some synthesized statistics on the danger of being sedentary. 

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So HOW can we CHANGE?? Here are some tips to help you burn from 500-1000 more calories per day. Cutting the sitting time per day can improve your health by (1) activating your muscle groups and bones – this helps avoid the muscle aches related to poor posture from prolonged sitting and strengthen your bones, (2) kickstart your metabolism – by helping you avoid fat deposition and insulin resistance, (3) promoting the release of feel good hormones – who needs to pop a pill with natural endorphins? and (4) increasing the oxygen delivery to your brain, helping you think clearer and become more productive. 

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What do you think about these ideas? Do you have any other ideas on how to be more active throughout the day? Feel free to comment/share below! Personally, I ALWAYS CHOOSE THE STAIRS instead of the elevator… (and I take a lot of stairs in the hospitals and in my apartment building). How about you? 

 

 

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