Sitting too much whether out of necessity due to our jobs or just to relax is not the best thing for our health. In fact, prolonged sitting can also contribute to an earlier death. However, there are a few simple steps that can help counteract the ill effects of sitting too much that you may want to start incorporating into your life.
No matter how busy that you may be at your computer, desk or television, taking breaks from your seated position every 20 or 30 minutes can greatly improve the negative impact of sitting too long. If you can’t remember to stop because you are so immersed in your project or program, then set an alarm or schedule a reminder by way of an email alert that will get your attention.
The goal is to use small breaks of about 8-10 minutes during those 20 to 30 minute intervals of continuous sitting and replace it with at least two hours of movement. This amount of time may seem hard to fit into your day, but squeezing those minutes in does add up.
For every ten minutes or so that your body suddenly moves, and you will be improving your cholesterol levels by lowering the triglycerides and raising the good high-density lipoproteins HDL cholesterol, helping better regulate your glucose levels and lowering your body mass index.
Though we all know the wonderful benefits of regular exercise for our health and the body’s appearance, it is often easier said than done. Therefore, you can still counteract the ill effects of sitting too much without overly straining yourself by aiming for at least two hours of cardio activity (aerobic exercise) a week. This is type of exercise that makes the heart rate accelerate and speeds up breathing that can do more to offset the health hazards from sitting too much.
Cardio at home may include fun activities such as simply taking a walk, jogging, bicycling, swimming, golfing, dancing, playing tennis, and racquetball, etc. These are just a few ways that you could offset the damage of prolonged sitting without feeling like you are a slave to a vigorous exercise regime.
Another helpful way to counteract the ill effects of sitting too much is working on your posture. You may need to make a few adjustments as far as different sitting positions go to benefit. For example, think how you sit at your computer or desk. Is your back straight when you sit at that desk or are you just settling against the lumbar support of your chair? Your eyes should look ahead and be level with your monitor. If you can’t see from that position, you can increase the font size or visit your drugstore for an inexpensive pair of reading glasses. Feet should be flat on the floor with your shoulders back.
When you have leisure time to watch television or read, you can really help yourself by sitting with your legs outstretched in a recliner or ottoman while you lean back. The reason you want your legs raised is because it keeps the blood from pooling in the lower legs. In addition, this position with legs no higher than your hips also improves overall blood circulation.
Hopefully, this post will help you remember that sitting too long is never a good thing unless you compensate for its accumulated damage.