Who knew the inauspicious desk chair was responsible for so much death and destruction? New studies show that sitting for long periods of time is really, really bad for you. Long periods of inactivity slow your metabolism, resulting in weight gain and putting you at high risk for weight-related problems like diabetes and heart disease.
What's that you say? You exercise several times a week?
Me too! And guess what. Even we're not safe!
That's what's so scary about these studies. According to the article, "If you consider only healthy people who exercise regularly, those who sit the most during the rest of the day have larger waists and worse profiles of blood pressure and blood sugar than those who sit less."
In other words, sitting offsets the benefits of exercise.
So what can you do if you are a person who spends a lot of the day sitting in front of a computer?
Some experts suggest replacing your desk chair with a slow treadmill or exercise ball so that you can walk or bounce while you work—yeah, right.
More realistic ideas include:
- Take frequent short breaks: take a walk to the water cooler or stretch, for example.
- Stop by a co-workers cube instead of sending her an e-mail.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Go for a short walk on your lunch break.
- Watch TV in a rocking chair.
- Even chewing gum and fidgeting burn more energy than simply sitting.
How many hours each day do you spend sitting in a chair?