According to research, fewer than 5 percent of people engage in the minimal amount of physical activity required every day, which is 30 minutes. Americans just aren’t moving enough and this can impact your body physically in more drastic ways than obesity.

Sitting all day, whether at work or at home, has several health risks and can also prove to be fatal.  A few years ago, Japan introduced standing desks for all kinds of workers. People in various fields, especially engineers, preferred working while standing and reported a boost in productivity and ability to think of fresher ideas.

Here are some of the reasons why sitting all day is bad for you:
1. Makes you more anxious – Activities like playing video games or watching television for prolonged periods can impact your mood by making you more anxious.  This is because you may be sitting for hours, making it less likely that you are getting enough exercise during the day.  Try to limit your screen time, especially if you sit in front of one at work all the time. This will also help you sleep better at night and be more active in the morning.

2. Impacts memory – Memory loss diseases like dementia can occur to people who have sedentary lifestyles as much as those who have a family history of it.  Even exercise routines like simply walking for a minimum of 30-40 minutes each day can help you minimize the risk.

3. Increases the risk of developing cancer – Studies show that you can be at risk of several types of cancer if you don’t get enough physical exercise and sit for too long every day.  This is because when you are sedentary, you burn less fat and tend to binge on unhealthy foods.  How often have you gone through several packets of chips or cookies without realizing it when you’re sitting, merely out of boredom?  Increased levels of fat cells can lead to an increased production of hormones that contribute to the development of cancer.
It’s not all gloom and doom though.  There are things everyone can do. There are simple things that we can do or add to our routines to be more active.

  • Try simple exercises at your desk to improve your circulation.
  • Pick up a sport that you enjoy playing to get in a good cardio workout.
  • Eat healthier foods, like fruits and vegetables, that contain more fiber.  Fiber helps to keep the circulatory system functioning more efficiently.
  • Start doing tai chi or qigong.  Both are ancient, gentle movements that can improve your overall health.
  • Throw in regular acupuncture treatments that can help improve circulation, lower stress, improve sleep and improve your heart health.

Knowing is half the battle.  So take the extra 5-10 minutes on your breaks to get up and move.  You won’t regret it.

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