How many hours a day do you spend sitting? If you’re anything like the average person, it’s probably around 9.5 hours a day ++ for many this number is much higher. Researchers around the globe have been delving into this issue + the results are anything but comforting. Studies show that sitting for extended periods of time is doing more than just making us lazy — it’s making us tired, weak, overweight ++ is even being considered a potentially *lethal* habit [YIKES].
HOLD UP — IS SITTING REALLY GOING TO KILL ME?
Welllll — it’s not necessarily the act of sitting that is detrimental to our health. We all need rest + relaxation. But it’s the *effects* of sitting for extended periods of time — working 8 hours at a desk then collapsing onto the couch after a tough day for a feel-good Friends marathon [me] — that is hindering our bodies ability to function *properly + efficiently.*
Research shows that sitting inhibits your metabolism drastically by reducing the amount of fat burning enzymes in your body by 90%. With sitting comes decreased blood flow — nearly doubling your risk of cardiovascular disease as your blood pressure rises + there’s an increased chance for elevated cholesterol levels.
Even as active CHAARG women we’re not immune to this *sickening sitting disease.* A study done with women who perform vigorous exercise on a regular basis still showed a 50% increase in chances of disability with every hour they spent sitting. In fact, sitting could even be hindering your workout as it causes muscle dystrophy — a weakening + tightening of the muscles. #ThanksButNoThanks
The question remains — if regular exercise is not enough to combat the effects of sitting, then what is? The answer is pretty *simple* — less sitting.
IT’S NOT AS HARD AS IT SEEMS.
Our jobs may have us feeling like we’re chained to our desks + chairs on the nine-to-five bandwagon. ++ Even though society has evolved in a way that has left many of us hunched over keyboards for a good portion of the day, there are proven ways to combat the desk-job slump + #reCHAARG your workday for a happier, healthier + more productive eight hours.
#1] GET STEPPIN’ ON YOUR WAY TO WORK
For those of you lucky enough to live within walking distance of work, ditching the drive//bus//train ride to the office is the best way to begin + end the work day. Studies show that taking three brisk walks [brisk = about three to four mph] a day lowers blood pressure for nearly 24 hours. So if you’re already walking to + from work, simply adding another midday walk around lunch time can have a *lasting* impact on blood pressure + cardiovascular health.
#2] WALK + TALK — THE ART OF THE WALKING MEETING
Odds are you’re not the only one in your office that could use a midday walk sesh. Instead of settling into the always-too-cold conference room for that business meeting, take it to the streets + talk it out during a walk through the park. Exercise increases *blood + oxygen flow* to the brain allowing you to process information more readily + efficiently. Adding movement to your business meeting will leave everyone feeling healthier + more productive.
#3] BID FAREWELL TO THE ELEVATOR
Ditching the elevator to take the stairs is a foolproof way to get your blood circulating + oxygen flowing to the brain. Just like most forms of exercise, taking the stairs has been proven to lower the *bad* cholesterol + *raise* the good. Want to raise the stakes? See if you can beat the elevator. ; )
Not only is walking good for your *heart + health* it also boosts happinesses + overall wellbeing. Next time you feel your energy dip or realize you’re beginning to become one with your chair — get up, get moving + get ready to change your life one step at a time [literally ; )].
++Briana [@brianam_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG Orlando