5 Ways to Combat the Dangers of Sitting

By | 2018-05-29T19:41:09+00:00 May 26th, 2018|

Have you heard that “sitting is the new smoking” or that obesity is often called “the sitting-disease?” This may sound dramatic, but a sedentary lifestyle can be extremely harmful. Research shows that people who spend more than eight hours per day sitting (with no physical activity) have a similar risk for death as smokers and obese individuals. Sitting too much is linked to anxiety, depression, poor digestion, weight gain, lower back issues, heart disease, and certain cancers, just to name a few. Before you get too worried, or quit your day job, we have great news! A study of more than one million people showed that 60-75 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day may eliminate this high mortality risk, and experts believe that getting up and moving around every 30 minutes may prolong your lifespan. So, let’s take a look at some great ways to get more active each day.

1. Increase Your NEAT
NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis, is just a fancy way of referring to activities we do outside of the gym, such as walking through the grocery store or unloading the dishwasher. Simple ways to increase your NEAT include taking the stairs, parking further from the door, or fidgeting at your desk. You heard that right, tapping your toes on the floor or moving your legs under your desk burns calories! Incorporating more NEAT into your routine can boost your daily calorie burn, combat the effects of sitting, and may even help you lose weight!

2. Stand Up
Standing desks are all the rage, and for good reason. Metabolism can decrease by up to 90% when sitting for just 30 minutes! Plus, standing promotes good digestion, engages more muscle groups, and burns more calories than sitting. However, there’s no need to stand all day! Try using the 20-8-2 formula which includes sitting for 20 minutes, standing for 8 minutes, and moving for 2 minutes. Your body (and metabolism) will thank you!

3. Seize the Day
If your job won’t allow you to stand throughout the day, use your time wisely by moving whenever you can. Try walking on your lunch break, taking an hourly trip to the water cooler, or running an errand for your boss. If you keep an eye out for activities, you just might find them! an errand for your boss. If you keep an eye out for activities, you just might find them!

4. Let Technology Help You
Technology takes the blame for making us more sedentary, but it can also help us become more active! Smartphone apps, activity trackers, or even old school pedometers can help you track your daily activity. Try tracking your steps and work your way up to 10,000 steps daily.
P.S. Don’t forget, the VHPGO app can be used to track your activity and can be synced directly to your smartphone or Fitbit!

5. Daily Exercise
Daily moderate-intensity (you can talk, but not sing) of physical activity is the best way to combat the negative effects of sitting. Schedule time for exercise each day and gradually work your way up to 60-75 minutes of exercise daily. Most importantly, remember that VHP is here to help! Take a live class, search our media library, schedule a one-on-one appointment with a Virtual Fitness Specialists, or download one of our fitness plans. We’re here to help you stand up and get active!

About the Author:

As a former overweight teenager, Meghan discovered the transformative power of good nutrition and exercise. In a quest to help others transform their lives, Meghan earned an MS in Applied Nutrition from Northeastern University and a dual-certification from the American Council on Exercise in personal training and group fitness instruction. In addition to writing, Meghan teaches virtual fitness classes and provides 1-on-1 training sessions via VHPGO. Meghan resides in Charlottesville, VA and loves spending time with her husband, infant daughter, and toy poodle.