Why Sitting is Bad for Us…and What to Do About It
By Alfredo A. Perez de Alejo – As a corporate attorney, I spent the better part of the last decade glued to my desk. My job required me to sit in front of a computer or around a conference table for 8 hours or more a day. Couple that to my commute and time spent vegging out to the Walking Dead (and some of my other favorite shows), and I easily spent half of the last 10 years sitting on my butt. That’s about 43,800 hours! Scary, isn’t it?
What’s scarier is that I’m not alone. According to a recent review in the Annals of Internal Medicine comparing 47 studies, the average person spends more than half of his or her waking hours sitting. If you are a busy professional, then you likely fall into this category, as well.
Now for the scariest part – the same Annals of Internal Medicine review also noted that people who sat for prolonged periods, even those people that exercised regularly, had a higher risk of dying from all causes!
Like many of you, I always thought I could make up for my long stretches of inactivity by hitting the gym hard when I wasn’t in the office. Without going into causation versus correlation, the evidence suggests I was wrong.
While I’m no longer actively practicing law, I still spend a fair amount of time sitting in front of my computer as part of my work with Gravity Rope. Luckily, I’ve found that by making a few simple changes to my daily routine, I’m able to avoid sitting for long periods of time.
Here are a few easy tips that you chronic sitters can incorporate into your routine to help you sit less, and live more.
Get up. As obvious as it sounds, the best way to make sure you’re not sitting too long is to stand up! I try to get up every hour, even if it’s just for a few minutes. If you need a bit of a reminder, just set your phone alarm to go off every hour, or set up an Outlook or Google reminder. Now that you’re up, take the opportunity to get a drink of water, go for a short walk, or stretch – trust me your back needs it after an hour of sitting down.
Take a 7 minute exercise break. Find 7 minutes in your workday, and workout. It can be as simple as doing push-ups or squats in front of your desk. Even better, take 7 minutes during your coffee or lunch break and jump rope. Jumping rope has all sorts of health benefits packed into a relatively short workout. And soon you’ll be able to try the Gravity Rope 7-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which is designed for busy people like us. It combines jumping rope with other exercises for a total body workout. Forgive the shameless plug, but if you like what we’re doing, sign up below to stay updated.
Even if you don’t have time to hit the gym with a trainer like Master Phil – as pictured here – you can still get a quick workout in at the office.
Find opportunities to get active. You’d be surprised how many opportunities present themselves at work (and even while vegging) to get up, and give your body a much needed break from sitting. I try to take (and make) all my calls over speaker phone. This gives me the ability to walk – or, as my wife says, pace – while talking. Aside from the obvious health benefits associated with moving around, I find that this also helps get the creative juices flowing.
Another good tip is to not skip the commercials when you’re watching TV (or YouTube, or Hulu). Instead, use the commercials as an opportunity to get some exercise, whether it’s picking up your Gravity Rope or just walking, it’s all good – just try not to walk to your refrigerator too much.
Change your seat or desk. Ask your company if they’ll provide you with a standing desk, or, if that’s too extreme, try a Swopper chair. The Swopper’s design lets you bounce, spin, move, and rock, which is great for your core and for just keeping active.
There you have it. These are just a few of the simple adjustments you can make to your daily routine to get you over your addiction to sitting, and put you on the road to better health. Give them a try, and let me know what you think. Keep jumping!
HOW DO I GET A GRAVITY ROPE?
We’ve been inundated with questions about how to get a Gravity Rope. Well, the bad news is the Gravity Rope and Gravity Rope fitness program are not for sale yet. But, don’t despair, you’ll be able to pre-order your own Gravity Rope and fitness program soon.
We plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign at the end of the year. You’ll be able to pre-order your own Gravity Rope (along with the fitness program and other goodies) through our Kickstarter campaign. Enter your email below to stay updated on our progress!
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