Have you ever tried to convince yourself that you need to move around after hours of sitting? Has your Netflix binge left you feeling guilty for lack of movement, yet you are still torn between playing the next episode and getting up to get your blood circulating again? Since you are reading this post, I know y
ou are already contemplating on putting that binge-a-thon on pause to do some good for your wellbeing. This post will tell you why it's important to cut back on that sedentary lifestyle and what you need to know to make better lifestyle choices.
Approximately 5 million deaths worldwide every year can be connected with physical inactivity. Studies have shown that physical inactivity and being sedentary for long periods of time can have as much of a negative effect on the body as smoking or obesity. Even though there is a recommendation of minimum physical activity, there is no recommendation currently as far as the maximum amount of time someone can be sedentary before it becomes harmful. (These bouts of physical inactivity does not include daily sleep cycles.) This topic is becoming more popular with the scientific community - so stay tuned as to when an actual recommendation is established.
Due to the advances of the modern world, a sedentary lifestyle is becoming a reality for the majority of todays population. So this affects almost everyone you know and is a major public health issue that researchers are just now taking more seriously. What they have found though is that if overall physical inactivity decreases by 25%, that could mean the equivalent of 1.3 million deaths can be avoided due to a sedentary lifestyle.
So... what if you are that person who does get at least the minimum recommended physical activity time in every week, but is also sedentary for a large chunk of your day as well? Answer: Do EVERYTHING you can and that's within your control to be as mobile as possible.
In addition to the minimum weekly recommendations of physical activity, try to set up your entire life to be on the move:
• Place your alarm away from your night stand so you can start your day by walking (or stumbling) to turn it off.
• Do you live close to work? Why not bike to work instead of drive? Even if you only do this 1-2 times per week - you are adding activity into your daily routine.
• Choose to go to the restroom that is farthest away from your work station.
• Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself every hour to get out of your seat and move around - even if it is just for a few moments.
• Commercial break? Don't refill your snack bowl - make those breaks count by seeing how many pushups, sit-ups or chair dips you can achieve within that commercial break.
• Are you more of an on-demand type of watcher? Hold yourself responsible and agree that you will do something active (at least 5-10 minutes) between each episode.
• Plan an active vacation! Especially if you are visiting a very walkable city, such as New York, Washington DC or Chicago... pull out your map and plan your days by what is close to each other and walk around.
So, now that you know that sedentary behavior is starting to be looked at as a serious health concern, don't wait for a possible recommendation to come out before you make positive changes for yourself. Be proactive and take the first step today to give yourself a healthier mind and body for tomorrow.