Sitting around could actually be killing you. Someone who spends several hours each day working at a computer or sitting in a chair may already know they are at risk for muscular skeletal injuries like neck and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and a host of others. But did you know that sitting all day can lead to larger issues such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity? My message to you: Standing just a little more each day burns calories, tones muscles, improves blood flow and so much more.I started using a standing work station and what a difference it has made in my daily calorie burn, energy levels, and alertness not to mention my lack of back pain.
You may be asking,”Why are you looking for more activity? You are a trainer!” But the reality is I’m a “trainer by morning” and often “an author by day.” When I’m not traveling, I spend many hours a day at my computer writing, creating workouts, researching, emailing, etc., and not only do I get low back pain from too much sitting, I get in a bad mood! I made a goal this past fall, to take a break from my computer in the afternoons and go for a quick outdoor walk. But when the temp dips below sub-zero, that habit is put on hold.
So I started thinking, “What can I do to feel more energized during the day and take better care of my back?” Exercise doesn’t hurt my back – it’s sitting that hurts! Studies have shown that sitting is more pressure on your spine than standing. I came upon the standing workstations but being a personal trainer, I was a bit skeptical to consider standing as a way to improve health. Yet, I’m a believer that every little thing counts. So I did a little research and the health statistics motivated me to give a standing workstation a try. I personally am using one of the Ergotron WorkFit-C stations. Ergotron, based here in St. Paul, MN, is a leading global manufacturer of ergonomic office enhancement products. Recognizing a gap in solutions that combat sedentary work styles, they produced “WorkFit,” a family of workstations that give people the choice to sit or stand.
Yesterday, I finished my morning workouts and classes, showered, and relished the thought of a whole day in my office to get work done. At 6 pm, I realized the only time I has sat down all day was in my car! I am personally burning about 300-500 extra calories per day, the equivalent of my afternoon outdoor walk. I absolutely LOVE my new workstation more than I ever thought would! Now, don’t get me wrong, fitness is my life and I am an advocate of working out. But I am also aware of the fact that there are a whole lot of people who are stuck sitting all day and are looking for little lifestyle changes to improve their health as well as their moods.
So, if you are sitting too much? Just Stand! Check out JustStand.org, an educational website providing research and conversation on the harmful effects of sitting too much, as well as tools (like a calorie-burn calculator) to help avoid it.
P.S.- Check out these stats!
According to statistics, sitting kills more than 300,000 Americans annually. It is the third leading cause of death in the United States, right after heart disease and cancer. Being habitually sedentary can cause diabetes, depression and osteoporosis, as well as sexual dysfunction. It affects adults and children and is projected to cost the U.S. 1.5 trillion dollars over the next 10 years.
Study shows that any kind of inactivity, one of which being seated at ones desk for long periods of time, has the potential of being a killer, contributing to heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breast, colon and pancreatic cancers, including arthritis pain, menopausal symptoms, physical frailty, osteoporosis, as well as digestive problems.
SOURCE: Healthmad.com, Long Periods of Sitting Can be Harmful ( 08/22/09)