Recently there has been an abundance of literature, news, and other media focussed around the detrimental effects that sedentary behaviour has towards our health. Scientists are now focussing on a whole new and very interesting area of research termed “sedentary physiology” which closely examines the impacts that sedentary behaviour has on our physical as well as mental health. What is sedentary behaviour?
It’s the opposite of active behaviour. It’s characterized by prolonged periods of inactivity or very little physical movement while awake. General examples of this is sitting or reclining. This type of behaviour significantly increases our risk for premature death and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease (including: heart disease, hypertension, & stroke) diabetes, cancer, mental health disorders and a long list of other conditions that could be prevented by sitting less and moving more!
Here are some tips to help you move more every day:
- Get out of your seat every 20-30 minutes and stretch or do some calisthenics (e.g. push-ups, squats, lunges, jumping jacks etc.) or go for a brisk walk or climb a few stairs
- Consider adopting a standing workstation. I have started standing at my desk and it’s one of the best things I have ever done! My body hates sitting now and it’s my mission to help as many people stand more and sit less every day to better fight the continual uphill battle life presents.
- Have active meetings (go for a walk and talk)
- Do some exercises at your desk or chair every hour.
It’s clear that by moving more we’re able to improve our health, productivity, mental function, well-being, and overall quality of life... So don't just sit there... get up and move! I will leave you with a quote that has really hit home for me and is starting to be passed around more and more: “It doesn't matter how fast you go; you are still lapping everyone on the couch!”
Keep Positive, Keep Smiling, and KEEP MOVING!
References and resources:
- Why the sedentary life is killing us: the globe and mail
- Physiological and health implications of a sedentary lifestyle
- Physical activity doesn't have to take too much time: Healthy Families BC
- A quick and easy exercise routine to keep you moving: Healthy Families BC
- Increasing motivation for lunch time exercise: Healthy Families BC
- Functional ability chair exercises: PAL Fact Sheet