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The Dangers of Too Much Sitting

Over the past century, the American economy and work force have shifted dramatically. What was once a largely agrarian economy gave way to a manufacturing economy, and now we are truly in the middle of the information age. With an internet connection, it is possible for Americans to do business with and work for companies scattered all across the globe. The negative result is that we Americans are spending more time sitting than ever before. We spend much of our sitting time watching television, using other electronic devices, driving to and from work, and sitting at a desk. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, this adds up to between 91 and 105 hours per week, or between thirteen and fifteen hours per day. Teenagers and older adults appear to be the biggest culprits.

The health risks from too much sitting are numerous: increased risk of heart disease, increased risk of Type II diabetes, a sluggish central nervous system (which can lead to greater levels of fatigue), and a gradual weakening of postural muscles. Doesn't sound very appealing, does it? Most people probably realize they spend too much time sitting, but they may not know what they can do about it. So what are some proactive strategies you can use to lessen these health risks?

1. Set an alarm to get up and move every 30 to 60 minutes. No one knows for sure what the optimal frequency is, but the thinking is that if you've been sitting for an hour, that's probably too long. Take a walk down the hallway, step outside for some fresh air (weather permitting), or get up to fill your water bottle.

2. Utilize a standing desk. If it worked for Thomas Jefferson and Ernest Hemingway, it can work for you (both men were early proponents of a standing desk). You've probably seen adjustable desks with seated and standing options that are available on the market. I think it's a good investment.

3. Hold walking meetings. Instead of discussing a work topic via phone or email, hold a walking meeting.

4. Strength train regularly. This is the most important thing you can do. One or two Total Results workouts per week will build strength (especially in the postural muscles), improve your cardiovascular conditioning, maintain a safe and functional level of flexibility, and help you to maintain insulin sensitivity (which will lower your risk for Type II diabetes).

It's important to have the mindset of staying active and having purpose. A few simple strategies like the ones mentioned above can make a huge difference in how you look and feel. We can't stop the aging process, but we can definitely slow it down.

Posted October 10, 2017 by Matthew Romans