There’s been a lot of press lately about the dangers of our sedentary lifestyle, and there are plenty– sitting for more than six hours a day increases the risk of heart attack by 64%, decreases your quality life years by seven and raises the risk for certain cancers. Some have called sitting the new smoking. What I like about the Lifehacker post, How Sitting All Day Is Damaging Your Body and How You Can Counteract It, is the practical advice it gives to ameliorate or eliminate these dangers, even for us lazy folk.
The post points out that we need to pay attention to two simple things: daily activity and the amount of time you sit. If you decrease the amount of time spent sitting, by standing at least once per hour, and get 30 minutes of daily moderate activity (almost any kind of non-sitting activity), you can alleviate many of the dangers of prolonged sitting. Not only that, the thirty minutes need not be consecutive. So, ten minutes three times a day works. In fact, experts say that breaking your activity into chunks is actually preferable since it helps increase endurance.
The post details how to measure your present daily activity, how to increase your activity without adding much time to your schedule and how to ensure that you take regular “standing breaks”. It’s amazing how something as simple as sitting can be so dangerous. Take a few minutes to read the whole post for excellent pointers, and do it while standing!