03 Sep Sitting is the New Smoking
Sitting is the New Smoking
You are not going to get cancer on your ass by your sedentary lifestyle (at least I HOPE not). However, just as the evidence mounted in the 1950’s that smoking caused cancer and could kill you, recent research on being sedentary concludes that sitting on our butts all day will take years, if not decades, off of our life expectancy. Sitting, has indeed, become the new smoking. And let’s face it… we are all sitting on our rear-ends a lot more than we did 20 years ago. Jobs are changing. Technology is changing. Times are changing. And in the process… we are sitting.
When I was a child (back in “the day”) and complained that I was bored, my parents would say, “Go outside and play!” Today, what do we do when we are bored? We log onto Facebook, search through Instagram, watch movies, and binge on TV for hours at a time. Am I right? And even worse, we set up our kids with X-Box and other various video games which, based on my sons’ experience, could be 6 straight hours of sitting, only concluding when they are starving and need both hands to eat! And some of us do this AFTER being stuck behind an office desk 8 hours a day. None of these activities involve moving our asses from the couch or desk chair. In addition to causing damage to our hearts, lungs, and other internal organs, what does all this sitting do to our backsides? Well… it isn’t pretty, people. They are being stretched to all new widths. Ugh!
So that said, let’s take care of this ever g-r-o-w-i-n-g problem. If you think I am immune to this, I am NOT. It is because of my newfound job as a blogger and creator of LiveYoungLifestyle.com that I have found myself SITTING more than I have ever sat in my life. I LOVE what I do. But, my ass is spreading by the second! Ugh again!… or more like AHHHHHH!
So… today. I’m going to talk about the five things I’ve found that help ME stay active while I’m writing. They may not work for YOU, but I’ve been doing a bit of personal research, and they absolutely work for me. (Side note: If you think your hour-long workout in the gym allows you to spend the rest of your 15-16 waking hours sitting, THINK AGAIN friends. It’s time to get up and move, or at the very least, change the way we sit!
Here Are 5 Ways To Stay Active in a Sedentary World
1. Treadmill Desk– I’ve seen this on TV on the show, “Episodes,” but never in real life. It does appear a little comical to be walking on the treadmill connected to your desk while wearing a pencil skirt and tennis shoes, but hey, whatever it takes.
2. Stand Up Desk– I actually HAVE seen this. And I’ve been told, it’s a real game changer. In fact, Jonathan (my Jonathan) uses this in our home office. It’s an elevated mini-desk I bought him from Amazon that sits on top of his existing desk. It raises his computer to chest-level, which keeps his spine straight, and his eyes facing forward – at the screen – instead of down. When he gets tired of standing, he sits. In doing so, I’m having him reverse the normal sequence of the writer’s sedentary life. He stands all day (on a padded mat), and sits for a few minutes when he is tired. This keeps his core activated and his spine aligned perfectly.
3. Seated Core Balancer– Now I’ll share my own little secret. I have bad feet. It’s just a fact. It totally sucks, but three surgeries later, I have learned how to modify my life around my injuries. Another story for another day when I’m in an “Eeyore mode.” (Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, keep marching forward even on bad feet.) So…. here is my new thing, this is my way to stay active as I sit and write. It’s a core balancer that I place on my desk chair. Most of us sit passively, plopped like a sack of potatoes on the couch or in our chairs. However, it is impossible to do this if you are balancing on an inflated balancer. This is active sitting in which your core is engaged while you sit. I use an inflatable balancer I put on my desk chair seat. They also now make desk chairs using a balancing ball as the seat. Love it!
4. Under the desk bicycle– This device is a mini-stationary set of bicycle pedals that sits under your desk. Your desk chair acts as the bicycle seat. These range in price from $29.00 to $149.00. Make sure you measure the space you need so that your knees aren’t hitting the top of your desk. And if you pedal while you sit on a core balancer… now we are talkin’!
5. Make your breaks count– If you feel you just can’t work while walking on a treadmill or standing up, or you can’t get the hang of typing on your computer while balancing on an inflated seat and pedaling a mini-bicycle, then schedule your breaks, and make them count. Set the timer on your phone to go off every hour. When the timer goes off, get your ass up and do 30-50 reps of something…. anything (jumping jacks, push-ups, leg-lifts, tricep dips, squats, etc). It’s best to mix it up a bit and pick a different exercise each break. After you’ve completed your set, get back to work, and set your timer for an hour once again.
So there you have it, get off your rear-ends (or at least actively sit on them), and you will live decades longer.