Have you heard sitting is the new smoking?
Dr. Levine, from Mayo Clinic, is passionate about the negative consequences of a sedentary lifestyle stating, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” There is no doubt that the negative consequences of a sedentary lifestyle are well researched and documented. A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers , heart disease, and diabetes. Your body needs to move!
Our modern day society relies on cars, drive thru, office jobs, televisions, video games, computers, and now, the convenience of services like Uber and home food delivery. Can you imagine what life would be like without cars, computers or cellphones?
As a nation, we are sitting too much and moving too little. It is time to change our sedentary culture!
Adding more movement to your day does not mean you have to go to the gym for one hour five days per week. As a whole, we all just need to MOVE MORE. Our challenge to you all is to focus on adding more NEAT into your life. You may be asking what in the world is NEAT? NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis. Simply stated, this is the energy expenditure or calories burned through activities of daily living. Take the next week to find ways to implement these tactics into your daily life.
It is important that activity is part of your daily routine, however it does not need to be time consuming or difficult.
Try some of these quick and simple tips to help you move more each day!
- Challenge your core by balancing on one foot while you brush your teeth.
- Make your next meeting a walking meeting, have your colleagues bring sneakers.
- Always take the stairs.
- Stand and pace while talking on the phone.
- Park in the spot furthest away from your building or errand.
- Stand up from your desk and stretch every hour.
- Stay well hydrated and use the bathroom that is further away.
- Get a standing desk.
- Dance while cooking dinner.
- Get a pedometer to motivate you to move more. Aim for 10,000 steps.
- Switch your desk chair out for a large stability ball.
- Add movement during commercials (go up and down the stairs, do some squats).
- Actively socialize with friends and family (go for a hike, walk, bike, play a sport).
- When in doubt, remember to get up and stand.
Adding in fitness and movement into your life can fill like a challenge. But remember that true health is a holistic lifestyle approach. Just like our approach to medicine is holistic and integrative, your life should be approached with balance, looking for ways and options to incorporate it into your daily routine in a way that is sustainable. Sometimes that means a drastic 180° turn from bad habits. Other times, it’s making small modifications that accumulate for good health over time.
So, make some little changes today by getting up and MOVING!
To your health!
Kristin M Corbin, DNP, FNP-C