I read the news today...
Sunday, July 18, 2010
About a conference that recently took place at Stanford University where researchers from around the world convened to discuss the serious health risks of prolonged sitting or "inactive physiology".
It seems that preliminary research has shown that that long-term sedentary behavior caused by desk jobs, driving and watching TV can lead to obesity, diabetes and even some kinds of cancer. Scientists are urging caution with such behaviors. It seems the average adult spends 9.3 hours or 68 % of their waking hours sitting. That's average. A professor from Australia who had researched sitting said "what we know so far is sedentary behavior has a strong relationship with metabolic functions."
This isn't really shocking news to me or probably any of my sparking friends. We all know the results of our sedentary lifestyles. What has become really clear to me over the past 6 months is how sedentary I had become, and still am. Even with all my fitness minutes, I still spend large amounts of my day sitting. My goal since June has been to move as much as possible, cleaning my house and my garden have been my gym, I walk to do an errand if it's under a mile, I'm moving more and I really do feel better.
At this conference, the attendees were offered alternatives to sitting, such as red exercise balls, kneeling chairs and standing. 75% of the researches chose to limit their sitting times.
Recommendations for avoiding lethargy in the office were standing while talking on the phone, scheduling frequent and short breaks and walking over to a co-worker to deliver a message rather than email.
There are a couple of items on the market to address this dilemma, one is a Walkstation, an office desk which doubles as a treadmill and costs $4600 and the other a bike that has a desk.
The scientists say that there's no need to jump on the mutant devises. Being aware of one's sedentary behavior and doing something about it should do the trick. It's good to avoid too much time in your car. If you can, use public transportation or bike. Get away from being focused on the computer screen and find ways to put a bit more social interaction back into what you do.
I'm going to buy an exercise ball and sit at my desk to spark!