Exercise for Sitting Too Long
Many of us spend most of the day sitting down. Thus, we definitely need exercise for sitting too much. You commute to work and likely sit in an office or cubicle during the day. In fact, even if you drive a truck for a living, you still spend a great deal of time sitting. It’s time to learn some facts and information about long sitting position exercise techniques you can do to maintain your health.
Why sitting for extended periods of time is bad for you:
1. Study #1 – Twice as likely to develop diseases.
A 2012 analysis of 18 different studies concluded that those who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to develop diseases such as diabetes and heart disease when compared to people who didn’t sit as much.
2. Study #2 – 40 percent are more likely to die.
An American Cancer Society study found that women who sit for more than 6 hours per day were 40 percent more likely to die during the course of the study than those who sat for less than 3 hours per day.
- Men in the study were approximately 20 percent more likely to die under the same conditions.
3. Study #3 – Reduction in muscle mass and insulin function.
An inactivity researcher at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center did a study with rats that were forced to be inactive.
- It was discovered that the leg muscles of inactive rats immediately lost over 75 percent of their ability to remove lipoproteins from their blood.
- The same researcher conducted a study with 14 human volunteers who were young and physically fit. Within 24 hours of being sedentary, the volunteers had a 40 percent reduction in their insulin’s ability to process glucose.
The Health Benefits of Exercise
*Benefits of Sit Down and Stand up Exercise/ Exercising More Than Sitting Down
No one is disputing the benefits of exercise. There have been more than 40 studies in scientific literature documenting that the risk of cardiovascular disease can be cut by 30 to 50 percent when people engage in moderate exercise.
Some of the benefits of exercise include:
- Weight loss
- Increased overall health and a reduction in numerous diseases and health issues
- Elevated mood
- Increased energy
- Better sleep
Exercise Alone Isn’t Enough to Undo the Damage Caused by Prolonged Sitting
Despite the benefits, exercise alone isn’t enough to counteract the damage done by excessive sitting. So, what can be done if exercising isn’t enough?
If you exercise regularly, continue to do so. If you’re not exercising, start now. However, there are some additional things you can do to prevent the damage done by prolonged sitting.
Suggestions for getting up and moving more often:
1. Add variety to your day.
OSHA recommends mixing some non-computer-related tasks into your workday. Although you may need to spend some time sitting at the computer, find other tasks that require you to get up and walk around.
2. Consider using an exercise ball instead of a chair.
Because an exercise ball is unstable, it requires you to balance yourself using various stabilizer muscles in your legs and core.
- Sitting on an exercise ball is good for your back and it helps keep your spine in proper alignment.
3. Get up and stand at your desk.
- If you have to be at your desk all day, there’s no rule that prevents you from standing up. Activating your muscles gets the blood flowing.
- Consider converting to a standing desk or a desk that converts back and forth.
- If you are skilled enough, many people opt for a treadmill desk and do some light walking while working.
Conventional wisdom would have us believe that getting a decent amount of exercise would offset the negative effects of prolonged sitting. However, exercise alone isn’t the answer. Overall healthy living is the key.
Make some adjustments today and lessen the amount of sitting you do everyday. Your body will thank you.