Could Sitting At A Desk Every Day Be Harmful To My Health?
Sure, we all know that sitting at a sedentary job all day is not helpful when trying to reach weight loss goals. We know that you don’t burn many calories by sitting at a desk from 8-5 every day.
A new study by the Mayo Clinic has new information that is a bit alarming for those of us who work in the corporate world.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings reported that UT Southwestern researches found that sitting too much, not just lack of exercise, is detrimental to cardiovascular health.
According to the study,
“The team of physician-researchers analyzed accelerometer data from men and women between the ages of 12 and 49 with no known history of heart disease, asthma, or stroke, and measured their average daily physical activity and sedentary behavior times. Fitness was estimated using a submaximal treadmill test, and variables were adjusted for gender, age, and body mass index. The findings demonstrate that the negative effect of six hours of sedentary time on fitness levels was similar in magnitude to the benefit of one hour of exercise.” – (Source)
Well that sucks! Looks like it’s hard to make progress in health goals if you have a desk job where you rarely get up from your desk but still make it to work out for 20 min a day.
What can you do at work to stay fit?
- Buy a pedometer to track daily steps. Make yourself a goal of 10,000 steps each day. If you do this, it will force you to get up during your work day to get in some steps.
- Park in the back of your parking lot. That extra walk won’t hurt and maybe it will help you remember where you parked every day!
- Take the stairs! I love this one. In the past 4 1/2 years I’ve worked on the 3rd floor in my office building, I’ve only taken the elevator TWO times – once to help someone carry boxes and once because I worse some hot red heels that didn’t agree with my feet 🙂
- Put down the phone. If you have a question for a coworker, walk over to them instead of calling them.
- Drink a TON of water. Not only will the water intake be super beneficial for your health, you’ll have to use the bathroom more which will cause you get get up more often.
- Ditch your chair and sit on an exercise ball. Yeah your coworkers may be a little confused at first but as soon as they learn the benefits of doing this, they will be jumping on the bandwagon. It will do wonders for your core and stabilizer muscles.
- Build a treadmill desk. If you work at home and have a treadmill, build a simple desk over the treadmill so you can walk while you work. I really hope corporations start adding these to offices soon!
- Raise your desk. A few coworkers that I work with had the maintenance men come and switch the height of their desk so they have to stand all day instead of sitting. Did you know that you can burn .7 calories more per MINUTE when standing instead of sitting? That can add up to almost 50 calories extra per hour or around 350 extra per work day!
Do you have any strategies to stay active at work? Leave a comment below!