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Hope You're Not A Couch Potato Because ...

Thursday, August 01, 2019

All kidding aside, we know through Sparking that there are consequences to leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Sitting around too much increases our risks of:
- Obesity
- Heart diseases, including coronary artery disease and heart attack
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Stroke
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain cancers, including colon, breast, and uterine cancers
- Osteoporosis and falls
- Increased feelings of depression and anxiety
- Premature death
according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Now that's a scary list, but unbelievably, despite the above warnings, it appears that, according to a recent study published online July 26, 2019 in JAMA Network Open, the proportion of people who don't get enough aerobic exercise and also sit around for more than 6 hrs/day rose from 16% to nearly 19% between 2007 and 2016. The investigators found that time spent sitting increased from 5.7 hrs/day in 2007-2008 to 6.4 hrs/day in 2015-2016.

Because of this, federal health officials have once again released the activity guidelines, which recommend adults get at least 150 min. a week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 min. a week of vigorous-intensity exercise.

Moderate-intensity activity can include mowing the lawn, playing tennis, enjoying a leisurely bike ride, engaging in a brisk walk, or doing heavy housework like vacuuming, mopping or washing windows.

Vigorous exercise includes jogging, bicycling fast, playing basketball or soccer, shoveling dirt or carrying heavy loads.

Here are some ways we can be active around our homes::

- Housework, gardening, and yard work are all physical work. To increase the intensity, we cqn try doing them at a more vigorous pace.
- Keep moving while we watch TV. Lift hand weights, do some gentle yoga stretches, or pedal an exercise bike. Instead of using the TV remote, get up and change the channels ourselves.
- Work out at home with a workout video (on TV or the internet)
- Go for a walk in our neighborhoods. It can be more fun if we walk the dog, walk our kids to school, or walk with a friend.
- Stand up when talking on the phone
- Get some exercise equipment for home. Treadmills and elliptical trainers are great, but not everyone has the money or space for one. Less expensive equipment such as yoga balls, exercise mats, stretch bands, and hand weights can help us get a workout at home too.

And here are some ways we can be more active at work:

- Get up from our chair and move around at least once an hour
- Stand when talking on the phone
- Find out whether the company could get us a stand-up or treadmill desk
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Use breaks or part of our lunch hour to walk around the building
- Stand up and walk to a colleague's office instead of sending an email
- Have "walking" or standing meetings with co-workers instead of sitting in a conference room.

The above is taken from:

"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it." ~Plato

"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." ~Edward Stanley

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