Do You Have a Sitting Disease? It’s Time to Get Physical!

Categories: Workplace Wellness

Are your sitting too much? You may not realize HOW MUCH sitting you actually do throughout the day. Did you know that sitting for most of the day is not good for your health? Consider what the medical community is saying about too much sitting (according to the site, www.juststand.org):

  • “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.” — Martha Grogan, a cardiologist, Mayo Clinic.
  • “Today, our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression, and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease.” — James Levine, MD, PhD
  • “Prolonged sitting should be considered within occupational health and safety policies and practices just like other elements of posture.” — British Journal of Sports Medicine

Don’t believe you sit too much? Reflect for a moment on your typical day at work. Do you:

  • Sit in a car on your way to work?
  • Sit at your desk?
  • Sit during a meeting or two?
  • Sit in a car on your way home?
  • Sit when you get home?

Chances are that sounded pretty familiar to you. But you’re not alone in your “sitting disease.” Americans spend about 55 percent of the time they are awake sitting, lying down, or reclining, putting themselves at risk for weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions.

The Antidote to the “Sitting Disease”

Taking a walk during a break is the most obvious way to get moving, but there are other ways to “get physical,” particularly when you are at work (where you probably do the most sitting):

  • Set an alarm to remind yourself to take a stretch break.
  • If you can, have a walking meeting.
  • Park your car far away from your office to get in some extra steps.
  • Take the stairs whenever you can.
  • If you are early for a meeting, take an extra lap around the building.
  • Have a five minute dance party at 3 p.m. There are many local businesses that do this — Insurance Source, Cheshire Medical Center, and Monadnock United Way, for example.

Learn more at www.juststand.org.