For the love of your health… don’t sit all day

While you’ve all heard by now sitting is the new smoking, I hope this helps you better understand the long term and devastating effects of sitting. I’m often amazed at how hard many people work at the gym in the morning before work, then sit all day long.

Imagine three people: one sits all day long (14 hours) crashing on a huge project with time for only bathroom breaks; another sits all day (14 hours) yet take one hour to pedal a stationary bike in the company gym downstairs, and last someone who works seated for those 14 hours yet accumulates 6 hours standing or strolling at a metered pace.

Do you think there’s any difference in the effects on their long term health?

YEP.

The latest study from the University of Maastricht is alarming. The negative metabolic, heart health, insulin resistance and cholesterol levels changed markedly more for the person who worked for four days for 14 hours straight. Just four days…

The insulin and cholesterol levels for the person who exercised lightly for one hour of the 14 were better than the person who sat all day. Yet, sadly the heart health was the same as the person who sat uninterrupted (except bathroom trips) all day.

The person who stood or strolled fared markedly better than the other two cases in terms of heart health indicators, metabolic profile and their muscle tone. Standing causes the recruitment of more muscle contractions throughout the day and busy muscles burn blood sugar for fuel keeping insulin levels steady.  Contracting muscles also keep release chemicals that can reduce bad cholesterol.

For those of you who spend much of your days driving, driving IS sitting. Take breaks. When you go to the store, park far away from the entrance. When you pick up your kids from school, park further away. When you must be in the car for more than 1-hour at a time: stop for a 2-5 minute break. When you brush your teeth, stand on one leg. When you see a park playground, go play!

So, there you go again. Moving is always better. Always…

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