Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Is Sitting Really that Bad???
There is so much confusion and so many recommendations regarding the best ways to live your life, lose weight, shrink your belly, and exercise. Now, there has been, what seems like, a sudden and urgent push to eliminate sitting from our daily routines. “Sitting is the new smoking” articles could be found in every mode of media.
For many individuals, sitting takes up a big portion of the day. For others, it is a way to relax and decompress from a long day or week. An evening or weekend on the couch catching up with the latest episodes on Netflix can equate to hours of zoning out, getting up only to grab something to eat or use the washroom. A person needs to relax, right? So, how bad can that be?
Well, taking care of our mental health is vital, but choosing to be sedentary is very different than relaxing in order to take care of your mental health. Research has consistently shown that exercise has a positive influence on mental health.
The studies which have raised the alarms show that lifespan decreases as the amount of sedentary behavior increases. Let me say that again, lifespan decreases as sedentary behavior increases. Synonyms for the word sedentary include: motionless, sitting, inactive, desk-bound, idle. Never has it been more scientifically proven that our bodies were made to move.
This has enormous impact on how we need to look at our days. This knowledge impacts society as a whole. This awareness needs to influence personal decisions all the way up to large organizational policies. For business owners and large corporations who want employees to live long and productive lives, that might mean giving employees options to move around and encouragement to stand and move during the day.
On a personal level, this means making movement a daily habit instead of leaving the workout to the weekend. It’s going against our instinct to take the easy way. Park a little further, take the stairs, go for that walk, perform squats during commercial breaks, bike to work. Find a way to incorporate movement. If you need some ideas, you can always chat with a personal trainer. We’d love to help you develop a plan.