Hello my lovelies,
If you're like me, you sit and stare at a computer screen all day...isn't it exhausting?? I've never been more aware of how much I sit until I moved to this office. Sure, I sat in all my other offices too, but it's really magnified this time. Why are we always in a rush to sit? We rush to the car to sit in traffic...we rush into work to sit at our desk...we rush back home to sit on the couch and watch tv... It feels good sometimes, but we're damaging our bodies far more than we thought!
For those of you concerned about the impact a sedentary lifestyle has on you and for ways to combat this “disease”, please keep reading…I’ll try to make it as concise as possible!
What happens when I sit?
· Calorie-burning drops to 1/3 of its normal rate
· Glucose uptake in insulin lowers which can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes
2 weeks of sitting for 6+ hours a day:
· Fat molecules, LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and insulin resistance increases which means
- Blood sugar levels rise putting you at a higher risk of weight gain
- Muscles begin to deteriorate and your oxygen consumption drops
- Makes it harder to climb stairs or get up and walk around
- Even if you work out every day, muscle deterioration starts when you stop moving!
1 year of sitting for 6+ hours a day:
· Weight gain and high cholesterol
· Women lose 1% of bone mass per year (read: osteoporosis)
10+ years of sitting for 6+ hours a day:
· Your risk of dying from heart disease increases 64%
· You’re more at risk for developing prostate or breast cancer
· You lose 7 years from your quality of life
So this means I don’t have to work out every day since it doesn’t reverse the effects of sitting, right?
Wrong! That’s even more of a reason to do it! You will still reap amazing benefits, physically and mentally, from regular activity that gets your heart rate up. Plus, weight lifting helps to combat osteoporosis. ***Ladies, I promise you will NOT bulk like most men do if you lift weights. It’s physically impossible for us to do naturally***
Ok, what can I do since I HAVE to be at a desk all day? (This is why you kept reading in the first place, yes?)
You have so many options! As I mentioned earlier, standing up and stretching/shaking out your legs and upper body are beneficial. [Fun fact: standing increases energy, burns more calories, improves posture, increases blood flow, and boosts your metabolism.]
First step: make sure your chair and monitors are at the proper height. Your chair should be high enough that it doesn’t cause your shoulders to shrug and allows your arms to rest at a 90 degree angle with forearms against the desk. Your monitors should be at least at eye-level or higher to force you to look up. Sit tall and lengthen the spine!
Next, chose a few exercises and stretches to do during the day in the office or at home (in addition to your regular workouts).
- March – high knees! – in place for at least 30 seconds
- Reach down and touch your toes and hold for 20-30 seconds, don’t bounce
- Take a couple flights of stairs
- Twist to either side and hold for 20 seconds
- Stretch your arms above your head and behind your back
- Move your neck around gently
- Roll your shoulders
- While still sitting, bend forward and let your arms hang to the ground
- Do a few lunges to open up the hips (hip flexors get too tight when sitting all day)
- 15-20 pushups…on the floor, against the wall, against your desk, in the bathroom stall, wherever!
- Sit and stand a few times in your chair
- 15-20 squats (unless you’re wearing high heels!)
- Any kind of yoga :)
Get your coworkers involved to make it even more fun! (and more likely you'll do it!)