The Hazards of sitting – the DESKBOD
There’s growing evidence that sitting for extended periods is bad for you. We’ll give you the bad news first:
- Sitting is the 2nd leading cause of death in the US and the 4th leading cause of death around the world. Studies show that extended periods of sitting can lead to an early death.
- Sitting can lead to type 2 diabetes.
- Sitting can risk injury to muscles, joints, and even your internal organs.
Use these tips to combat the DESKBOD:
Unplug and play
Dr. I-Min Lee, Harvard Medical School professor, says: “Any [physical] activity is good…. Some is better than none, and more is better than less.” While the ideal is to get in 30 minutes of exercise every day, getting in 10 minutes of activity here and there throughout your day helps.
Squeeze in small breaks where you go for 10. min walks or even office squats, desk push ups and air jacks.
Get up and move.
Make sure to get up and move for 1-3 minutes every hour. Set a reminder to yourself on your phone or calendar tool. If that doesn’t do the trick, consider downloading an app on your computer that will force you out of your system for timed breaks. Remember, it’s for your health! Also, your eyes need a break from staring at your computer screen.
Air squat during phone calls.
Use phone calls as an opportunity to squat up and down. Get a wireless headset or take calls from your cell phone, if necessary. As Amy Cuddy reveals in her TED Talk, “power poses” impact how others perceive you.
Take fresh air breaks.
Even if you’re not a smoker, there’s nothing in the corporate rulebook that states you can’t go outside for a walk. Getting outdoors is good for your health and mental well-being. Soak in the sun to boost your vitamin D intake. If the weather is not conducive for walks, try walking around in open areas of your office or in the hallway.
Get a standing or treadmill desk.
If office space permits, consider purchasing a standing desk – better yet, a treadmill desk! Standing burns more calories than sitting, so it’s yet again another small way to get in more exercise into your day. A quick search on Amazon.com and other sites shows that standing desks come in all sizes and varieties. Some models simply modify traditional desks by propping up your monitor and keyboard to the appropriate heights for standing.
Yes, sitting is bad for your health. Unplugging from your desk as often as possible and taking the time to exercise can mitigate some of the health risks.