Tag Archives: sitting

Our 27 Improvements That Will Change How You Move at Work

 

move at work

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons; Shreyans Bhansali

Stand to read this blog post. It will most likely be a part of a much needed 10-minute break in your work day.

Why? Because The National Institutes of Health recently reported that Adult Americans spend on average 7.7 hours a day engaged in “sedentary behavior.” As a result of sitting longer, it’s more difficult for your blood to circulate. Continue reading

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

Why You Should Bike To Work This Week [Infographic]

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Tony Webster

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons, Tony Webster

We’ve talked extensively about the benefits of an active lifestyle, and we don’t mean simply going to the gym for 30-60 minutes out of the day. While structured exercise should definitely be a part of your regular routine, studies show that eliminating prolonged periods of inactivity throughout the day is more important to long-term health.

There’s a variety of ways to increase your daily activity. Standing desks. Taking the stairs. Short walks throughout the day. Joining a sports team.

And, of course, biking to work. May is National Bike Month, and this week is National Bike to Work Week. Not only does ditching the car decrease your carbon footprint, spending the extra hour or so a day putting your muscles to good use can do a lot for your long-term health!

Stephanie Averkamp over at FitnessforWeightLoss.com put together this nifty infographic on the health benefits of biking to work. Here’s a brief overview followed by the actual infographic.

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

Trailblazing Thursdays: “Sitting Is Killing You” . . . And What to Do About It

credit: Instagram @olmstead_j

credit: Instagram @olmstead_j

Near the end of last year we shared an informative infographic on the dangers of sitting. The essence of the picture is captured in this poignant sentence: People who sit for most of their day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack.

More and more experts agree that sitting all day, every day can be detrimental to one’s health, even for those who exercise regularly. But what can you do about it? Many people aren’t able to control their work environment, especially when the majority of the office doesn’t share the same health priorities. It would be extremely awkward to be the only one standing in a sea full of sitters. Even worse, the office administration might not be receptive to the expense of a standing desk.

Those who work at home or have the ability to stand all day should also take heed: don’t let the phrase “Sitting is Killing You” scare you into other unhealthy habits. According to Men’s Health, standing for hours and hours on end can lead to musculoskeletal disorders in the legs, knees, and lower back. It’s recommended that you stand as long as it feels comfortable. Taking a seat after that won’t kill you – in fact, it might just make you healthier. Multiple sources suggest splitting standing and sitting time 50:50.

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

HIIT Plus Standing: Match Made in Heaven?

credit: iStock @creacart

credit: iStock @creacart

You hit the gym early in the morning, warm-up, stretch, and then go to work. After ten minutes or twenty or an hour of intensity, you’re toast. It was the kind of workout that leaves you soaked in sweat and flat on your back, gasping for air even though you can’t help but smile. What a feeling!

When you’re ready, you peel yourself off the gym floor, pat yourself on the back, and then . . .

. . . you sit all day. Whether it’s at a desk on the weekdays or in front of a television on the weekends, your time outside the gym is all about sitting. Does this sound like you?

The Dilemma

Numerous studies have shown that high intensity interval training (known as HIIT) is just as or more beneficial for overall health and athleticism when compared to longer bouts of lower to moderate-intensity exercise. For example, a 2008 study found that 2.5 hours of sprint interval training produced similar muscle and endurance improvements as 10.5 hours of endurance training. Another study found that HIIT’s effects stick with you long after you leave the gym, increasing the resting metabolic rate for 24 hours. The famous Tabata 1997 study (one of the foundations of CrossFit) concluded that “intermittent exercise . . . may tax both the anaerobic and aerobic energy releasing systems almost maximally.”

A recent study, however, set out to challenge some of these claims. Published last week in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, the study followed eighteen healthy individuals between the ages of 19 and 23 who were randomly assigned to three physical activity regimes for four days. They were split up into three groups and were instructed to either a) sit 14 hours per day b) sit 13 hours per day and exercise for 1 hour per day and c) sit 6 hours, walk 4 hours, and stand two hours per day. While the 1-hour workout group showed the same energy expenditures per day as the minimal intensity group, insulin levels and plasma lipids in the minimal intensity group were significantly better than the sitting group. The same could not be said for the group with 1-hour of daily physical exercise.

Does this mean high-intensity exercise is not as beneficial as we once thought?

We’ve talked about ideas suggesting that one hour (or less) of exercise a day cannot make up for 23 hours of inactivity no matter how intense you make it (see Sitting is Killing You). In fact, people who sit for most of the day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack, regardless of exercise. So while exercising for six hours a day (whether it’s by taking long walks or going on a treadmill marathon at the gym) will help eliminate some of the problems of chronic sitting, you still may be missing out on all the benefits of high-intensity training (not to mention 6 hours of exercise a day just isn’t sustainable for everyone).

The Take-Away

While there are benefits to HIIT over regular exercise, it alone does not make up for an extremely sedentary lifestyle. Looking at the PLOS ONE study in the context of other research, the literature seems to suggest that remaining active throughout the day (through intermittent standing in the workspace or daily walks) in addition to a HIIT routine can be the perfect combination to achieve both short- and long-term health and fitness goals.

What do you think? Weigh in below!

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

12 Gifts of Wellness

credit: Instagram @ecampbell4

credit: Instagram @ecampbell4

For those of you finishing up your last minute shopping, consider choosing something this holiday season that will stay with your loved one for a long time to come! No, we don’t mean diamonds. We’re talking about something much more important: wellness!

Whether you’re shopping for someone training for a marathon or for someone whose idea of an active week is one where the remote is lost, there’s something for everyone. We tapped Ben Greenfield Fitness, Greatist, and WebMD for workout equipment, winter wear to cooking classes, and anything inbetween.

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The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.

“Sitting Is Killing You”

credit: Instagram @yuki_eye

People who sit for most of their day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack.

Did that get your attention? We hope so (and, no, we didn’t make that up).

We’ve talked about the benefits of getting off your hind quarters and spending more of your day on your feet.

To put things into perspective, here’s what sitting physically does to your body:

  1. As soon as you sit the electrical activity in the leg muscles shut off, calorie burning slows to a sloth-like 1 per minute, and enzymes that help break down fat drop by 90%.
  2. After 2 hours of reclining in your favorite chair, the good cholesterol in your body drops about 20%.
  3. After 24 hours insulin effectiveness drops 24% and risk of diabetes rises.

Continue reading

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.