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!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This was a great blog! I too feel we spend too much time in the sit mode!But after 25 years of retail I really do appreciate the chance to sit! I use to go all day long in the stand mode! I see where it has hurt me though! emoticon emoticon emoticon for sharing! emoticon
    3781 days ago
    The last job I had was absolutely rigid about employees sitting at their stations (it was a major call center / help desk). If you stood at your station, someone would come over immediately, as it was a signal for 'help.' You had a scheduled (to the MINUTE) ten-minute break in the morning, a scheduled ten-minute break in the afternoon, and exactly 35 minutes for lunch. The rest of the time, you better be in your seat, at your station, even if you weren't on a call. So when you're in entry-level jobs, unfortunately, you often have no empowerment - in some places, things haven't changed much in the last forty years! emoticon
    3782 days ago
    Great blog! It is time to get moving. Talk with a person on the phone while treadmilling it or riding a bike. They will ask why we are out of breath? Because we are sparking! Imagine that!
    3783 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5080021
    I was shocked when I started wearing my pedometer at how many steps I was not getting. I feel I stay busy piddling around the house, but on days that I don't get out and exercise, I will only get 3000 to 4000 steps. So what was I getting when I wasn't making an effort.

    At Weight Watchers, we were told to get out of the car and go into a restaurant to order our food, get out and go into the bank instead of the drive thru, etc. We have become a society of quick in and quick out, and it is killing us.

    Good blog, thanks for sharing.
    3783 days ago
  • REJ7777
    Thank you so much for posting that blog! It's got so much useful information. I knew that being sedentary wasn't good... but I didn't realize just how seriously bad it was. I've saved a copy of your blog on my computer because I want to re-read it when I need motivation. Thanks! emoticon
    3783 days ago
    Did they give any alternatives to someone in a knee brace and crutches!!! Seems like a no brainer - again, we know what we should do, why don't we do it? Give me about 8 weeks and I'll be walking with you again! Can't wait!!!
    3783 days ago
    I saw the same study. What struck me was that some of the problems of sitting so long were taking place on the cellular level! I'd write more, but I've got to get moving....
    3783 days ago
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