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The Dangers of Sitting Too Much

A have a meeting while walking
What? My hour-long workout is not enough?  Why do we need to do a lot of moving-all day long-not just during our workout hour?  To find out read the article below that I found at 

After you read the article, do some chair yoga at your desk-several times during the day. I found this fabulous little video by Adrien on you-tube. 
Then before or after work, join a TriYoga Davis yoga class. Check out our schedule

What You Can Do to Overcome the Health Hazards of Sitting
  • The news about sitting too much is not good, but it’s worth knowing: Our modern lifestyle, with long spells of sitting down, is hazardous to our health. You thought you knew that, right? That’s why you fit in an aerobic workout three to five times a week, like you were told. The emerging news is: That may not be enough.

    A new field called “inactivity studies” has been looking at what happens when we sit down a lot. And the surprising news is that sitting for too many hours can harm your health, whether or not you exercise the rest of the time. Couch potatoes and marathon runners share the danger, in slightly differing degrees. Dang, that’s depressing.

    “This is (hazards of sitting) an important field of study,” says San Francisco Internist Toni Brayer
    , medical advisor to MyLifeStages. “This doesn’t mean your exercise plan should be scrapped; it means you should find ways to reduce long periods of sitting, in addition to getting regular aerobic exercise.”

    What inactivity studies found about sitting

    A key study in the field of “inactivity” was attempting to figure out why some people gain weight while others don’t. The study subjects were fed the same amount of extra calories and forbidden to exercise during the study. Surprisingly, not all subjects gained weight. So what was happening?

    The researchers then wired up the subjects’ bodies to see how much they moved. Although no one was doing traditional “exercise,” they discovered that the leaner subjects moved a lot during the day – standing , walking, even just fidgeting. Th
    ese subtle movements burned calories and changed the subjects’ overall metabolism, in a healthy way.
  • Facts about sitting still, according to inactivity researchers:
    • When we sit, the electrical activity in the legs and gluteal muscles (buttocks) slows way down.
    • Calorie burning slows to 1 calorie per minute.
    • Enzymes in the blood that burn fat drop precipitously.
    • After two hours, good cholesterol levels can drop 20%.
Scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana analyzed the lifestyles of more than 17,000 men and women over about 13 years, and found that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of heart attacks. The results of this inactivity study were published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Another study found that those who sat the most had the highest mortality, not just from heart-related disease, but from cancer deaths as well, said the study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Those who sat a lot but did some exercise fared better than those who just sat, but sitting more than six hours a day impacted the mortality of all subjects, no matter what else they did.

How to move more and sit less

Many of us are tied to jobs that involve sitting at a desk, or to long commutes in the car. In addition, we may relax in the evening with more sitting, in front of the TV, video game or computer. So what can we do, short of opting for a job that involves manual labor?
"Do any kind of movement" -Dr. Brayer
    • Take breaks from your desk. These can be as simple as standing up for a phone call, or walking down the hall to the copier. Try to space this activity throughout the day, so you don’t sit for more than an hour without a break. (If you’re at home, you can try some moves from our easy home fitness circuit.)

    • Consider a standing desk arrangement, or a sitting ball. Yes, it’s different and might look weird at first– but the act of standing or balancing on a ball can burn many more calories and keep your muscles engaged and alive. You can also take a couple of minutes to try these desk exercises at work. Check with your organization to understand whether or not your organization policies permit these adjustments and under what circumstances.
    • Take a walk! Consider a walking meeting with co-workers, or just head out the door yourself, circle the building, and come back refreshed.
    • Move before climbing into the car for your commute. Is there a quick activity you can do before you leave in the morning - sweep the floor or hang up some clothes? Or, stop for a cup of tea on the way home to break up a long ride. Just getting out of the car and doing something active helps.
    • While watching TV – stand up. Do some squats and other moves to strengthen your legs. Dance around or do yoga poses. Ride your exercise bike. Or, if you aren’t ready for the sitting ball at work, bring one home and use it in front of the TV.
    • Play with the kids (or grandkids). Kids know how to move – you can hardly stop them. So play ball with them, or crawl around on the floor. Be more kid like and you will move more.

“We need to keep our bodies moving,” says Dr. Brayer. “Humans were built to stand, walk, bend, run and move. Our modern lifestyle forces us to sit still, and we weren’t built for that.”

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