Researchers have linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and cancer. The adverse effects of prolonged sitting are caused mainly by disrupted metabolic functions that lead to poor vascular health. Standing, on the other hand, creates the muscle activity needed for important processes related to the breakdown of fats and sugars within the body. Furthermore, your posture while sitting can compound these issues. Poor posture slows down your digestive system and it constricts both your circulatory and nervous systems.
Think about how you are sitting at this very moment. How many hours will you be sitting at your computer today? If you are trying to run a business you may think, “I have bigger fish to fry right now.” Ask yourself the following questions: “What is more important than my health? What good is working hard to build a future for myself and my family if health problems keep me from enjoying it?”
So, what if your routine requires you to be at a computer the majority of the day with a phone cradled to your ear? What can you do? Here are some ideas to combat too much sitting and poor posture:
-Use a hands-free headset when you are taking phone calls at your desk. Better yet, use a hands-free, wireless headset so you can pace your office and move around while you talk.
-Hold stand-up meetings. Take a walk around the parking lot or through the building with your staff.
-Always take the stairs.
-Park in a parking spaces farthest from the building (this may save you some scratches and dings as well).
-Avoid eating a heavy lunch. Keeping your natural energy up (not your caffeine energy) can help reinforce better posture and more movement. Instead of having caffeine, try a piece of fruit.
-Reposition how you sit in front of your computer. Search Google for “computer posture” and see the endless examples of correct computer posture. Better yet, do the same search on YouTube for a quick instructional video http://youtu.be/nnpHLxlj3fQ.
-If you work alone in your office you have a lot more freedom to try different methods of incorporating movement and better posture into your daily routine. For the more adventurous office dweller, check out this YouTube video demonstrating a 30-second posture you can do when no one is looking http://youtu.be/rm9L0RIhR3s.
Even just a few moments a day can help reduce your risks. Office dwellers stand-up and take a walk! You will thank yourself later.