How much time each day do you spend sitting? Between work and relaxing, the number of hours spent sitting or lying down is pretty high for many of us. When you come home from work or school (or, in this new work-from-home era, just move from your work space to the living room), the first thing you do is probably take a seat to tune into your favorite TV show or check your social media feeds. It might feel like that’s exactly what you need after a stressful, tiring day, but sitting too much can harm your health.
The More You Sit, the Shorter Your Life
That’s an attention-grabber, isn’t it? It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. Sitting longer than six hours each day significantly ups your risk of dying an early death.
Sitting for too long can drop your level of good cholesterol by as much as 20%. Remember, that’s the good stuff that actually removes the bad stuff from your bloodstream. Sitting also decreases lipoprotein lipase activity, an enzyme that helps our bodies burn fat. The health consequences are so serious, and our increased levels of sitting are so high that researchers have coined the term “sitting epidemic” to describe this issue. You can learn more about the risks of a sedentary lifestyle in this blog post.
Sit Less, Move More
So how do you increase your activity level, especially when so many modern jobs have us tied to a desk? Even though you may have to sit while working most of the day, you can increase your movement by trying these tips:
- Stand in place when you can. Invest in a standing desk to keep your energy higher throughout the day.
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs instead.
- When you’re fielding calls for work or with friends, stand up and walk around the room.
- Set a reminder on your phone to take a lap around your house or office every hour.
- If you live in a walkable neighborhood, leave your car at home and run errands on foot.
- For extra motivation, use a pedometer or health app to track your steps each day. Start with a goal of taking 5,000 steps a day and keep pushing yourself to do more.
Adding just a few extra steps and spending less time sitting can improve your health and your lifespan. Remember to ease into a routine and keep adding more and more movement to your day. If you notice pain, don’t ignore it! Contact our chiropractors in Vancouver WA — we can treat your injuries and get you back on track in no time!