Sitting is the new smoking. Only, there is no warning label on some package you buy about the dangers of sitting as there is on a package of cigarettes. You won’t find concerned citizens rallying in front of government buildings or picketing stores in protest to the dangers represented by sitting too much.
Gone are the days, for most of us at least, that we are on our feet throughout the day as we do our jobs and chores and commuting. We sit for our commutes, our work, and our relaxation time. Yikes! I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by the challenge of turning that situation around.
Yes, you can have a standing desk. Standing too long isn’t good for us, either. A desk with a treadmill alleviates some of that problem, but it’s not a perfect solution.
I had to laugh when I had a standing desk. It was during the time I was training for walking the Camino so walking miles every day — in between working at my standing desk. My feet were so tired that I soon started taking sitting breaks instead of movement breaks!
As much as I try to move throughout each day, I’m still guilty of being stationary too long. And the problems of sitting too long daily aren’t reversed by exercising a few times during the week.
A quick rundown on the problems raised sitting too many hours each day sound pretty scary to me: obesity, body aches and pains (like sciatica, back, and neck), Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s, and depression are among the serious conditions associated with extensive sitting. In short, sitting too much shortens your life and decreases your quality of life. Nope. Not for me.
Here’s what’s recommended and what I’m doing. I’ll continue taking frequent bio-breaks from the amount of water I drink, taking the stairs when possible, and parking as far from the store’s door as I can to get more walking in. I’m going to start taking stretching and/or walking breaks every 20 minutes instead of every 50. Sometimes, I’ll walk to my husband’s office when I have questions instead of messaging him. An important component of this is to incorporate fun into what I’m doing.
I may even end up going back to my standing desk. Then I’ll schedule sitting breaks in addition to the movement breaks.
Extensive sitting is not good for you. Extensive being still isn’t good for you either. Finding ways you can move more will keep you healthier and more vibrant. Sitting is an important habit to kick. Let’s do it together!