With technology allowing more people to work from home and more people leading sedentary lifestyles, doctors are encouraging people to get off the chair and get busy. Some experts believe that we spend more than half of our waking hours sitting down, either watching TV driving or sitting behind a desk.
Elizabeth Andekian, an advanced practice registered nurse for OSF Healthcare says we’re not meant to sit all day.
While too much sitting can be bad for your posture, it also leads to an assortment of other issues including cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, and more. Research from Alberta Health Services in Calgary, Canada, revealed that cancer survivors who spend more than eight hours a day sitting are five times more likely to die over the following years than survivors who are more active.
Another study from the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health showed that men who had more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64% greater risk of dying from heart disease compared to those who had less than 11 hours a week of inactivity.
Andekian says that while spending time relaxing is fine, too much is never a good thing.
Medical professionals recommend 150-300 minutes of physical activity a week. That is 2 ½-3 ½ hours a week or 42 minutes at most a day. Andekian says it’s a good idea to get up and move around every 60-90 minutes. This will help improve concentration, get rid of fatigue, and prevent backaches.
Experts say that if you have physical or health limitations, start off small by doing chair exercises, or taking a walk to the kitchen or to the mailbox. All Andekian asks you to remember is that while sitting may not be the new smoking, one hour of exercise can’t offset 10 hours of sitting around.
For a look at some chair exercises, click here.