“Sitting is the new smoking”
Star date June 30…”30 days has September, April, June…” last day in June of 2015!
Watch out! I’m listening to podcasts and reading some contemporary books about movement! One of the latest podcasts that I listened to was by Dave Asprey, an American entrepreneur, businessman, and author. He is the founder of “The Bulletproof Executive” and chairman of the board of the Silicon Valley Health Institute. He was interviewing Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alternative medicine proponent, osteopathic physician, who markets a variety of controversial health stuff. It was interesting to hear a physician and a body hacking geek go at it in a podcast format about current health issues. One of the take aways that immediately stuck in my psyche was “sitting is the new smoking”–a term coined by Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and inventor of the treadmill desk. Levine has been studying the adverse effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles for years and has summed up his findings in two sentences. “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
I must admit that the presentation and the claims seemed pretty dramatic until I started reading about the studies. Prolonged sitting can increase the likelihood of type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and heart disease. Sitters also have an increased likelihood of muscular skeletal problems to boot because desk chairs are not conducive for our moving working bodies. But what twisted my mind was the statement that “Another reason the smoking analogy is relevant is that studies have repeatedly shown the effects of long-term sitting are not reversible through exercise or other good habits.” WAIT! I teach exercise and encourage good health habits as a profession. And what do most of my students and clients do? They sit because they are hard working folks or creative folks who sit on their butte’s working on their computers.
If you want to continue to freak yourself out on this subject, just Google “sitting is the new smoking”.
What can we do if we love the productivity of our computer? In a nut shell, stand up. If you have a job seated for hours, see if you can make your desk a standing one. There is a Pintrest page on standing desks. There are all kinds of ideas for making our working areas more healthy.
I have a client that is marching in place at her standing desk until she gets a “desk treadmill”. I have another client who had back problems and found that a standing desk helped alleviate his low back pain. He was ahead of the time by converting to standing 5 years ago.
I have also recommended to so many of my folks to drink more water so they have to get up off their desk chair more often to relieve themselves.
I was reading some supporting articles and one recommendation was to cut your 5-6 hours at your desk to a max of 2-3 hours a day. It just takes a conscious, seemingly worth while effort to avoid a horrible disease or diseases.
Walk…walk…walk…walk…walk your dog, walk your partner, walk with your bestee, walk with a neighbor, walk the golf course…
Find “standing funness”. There is a game called Spike Ball. If you are a word game fanatic like me, how about lawn Banana Grams?
For me as a movement teacher, I am teaching at least half of my mat classes standing. I’m encouraging folks to walk barefoot on beaches. (One of my favorite things to do on this earth!) I’m encouraging folks to find a dance class. Put some music on and dance in your kitchen. One of my greatest joys is dancing in Zumba. I find music that I like, choreograph in my kitchen, and then share and shake it with some of my favorite folks at Tone.
Do your computer work standing at your kitchen counter. Take yoga classes. Take Pilates classes. Taking Tone classes will help your posture so you can stand with more efficiency.
Get up! Move it, Baby!
…Oh I’m squatting on the floor with my computer on an ottoman typing this.
How are you reading this? Seated or standing?
All this wrapped up with nasal breathing!
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