It may seem hard to believe that the actions of sitting and smoking are health related, but research shows that while smoking is bad for your lungs and heart, sitting is bad for every part of your body. You don’t have to be a pack-a-day smoker to develop a health problem from it. The same is true for sitting.
You may not think you sit too much, but I want you to think about your commute to and from work, being at a desk for eight hours each day, coming home and eating dinner, and then unwinding with some entertainment on TV.
You might say, “But Dr. Harvey, I also exercise at the gym.” That’s great, but did you hop on the seated stationary bike to work out? (Sitting creeps into our everyday lives in all sorts of places!)
Now can you see now how much time in your day involves sitting? It’s probably over half.
Research has shown that in order to neutralize the negative effect that sitting has on us we must get up and move, (i.e. walk, jog, stretch, etc.) every 30 minutes. We do not get the same benefit if we just exercise before or after work. Exercising before or after work does not negate the effects of sitting all day. Researchers found the only way to fend off the effects of sitting was to take short 1 – 2 minute breaks every 30 minutes.
Now, don’t think you’re losing work time by doing this. Yes it will take you away from your task for 15 – 30 minutes per day, but research has shown that taking short breaks refocuses you and increases your productivity.
The Bottom Line: Don’t sit for too long! Try taking 1 – 2 minute breaks every 30 minutes and let me know how it works for you. By incorporating these changes, I am confident you’ll not only see improvements to your productivity, but your health as well!