If you are taking one last summer road trip, flying across the country for work, stuck at your desk with a deadline or in traffic on a long commute, you could be doing something that’s taking a toll on your health—sitting too much! While people tend to look at seat-time as time to relax, your body doesn’t see it that way. Too much sitting, now referred to as "sitting disease” by experts studying it, can wreak havoc on your body’s metabolic system. Sitting too much can increase your risk for obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression and a cascade of other health ills. So what can you do?
Find ways to stand more. Global studies show, on average, we sit 7.7 hours a day, and some results estimate people sit up to 15 hours a day. Calculate your daily sitting time and try to reduce it by standing up every hour. Stand while you are on your computer or when you take a call. If at work, stretch your legs under the desk. Do calf raises. Walk to talk to a coworker or friend instead of sending an email when you can. Conduct walking meetings. Be creative and find ways to sit less.
Burn more calories. Yes, standing burns more calories than sitting and can increase energy, tone muscles, improve posture; increase blood flow and ramp up metabolism. Standing also yields around 12 to 30 more calories per hour than sitting. For a full day of work (8 hours), standing might mean 200+ more calories burned.
Create a Stand Up Desk. As the saying goes, "you won’t get the butt you want by sitting on it.” You can create a do-it- yourself desk where you can stand up, or check out standing workstations you can buy online. If you need a little more convincing that sitting is detrimental to your health, check out http://www.juststand.org
Sit less even if you workout regularly. You won’t combat sitting disease with gym time. First off, most people don’t have time for MORE exercise. Plus, studies show that more exercise time may not even cancel out the damage to your body if you sit for eight hours following your workout. The key is to find pockets of time in your day to move. Try to be standing for ten minutes of every hour when you are forced to be on your butt. Your body will thank you.