Are you active or sedentary? You may be more active than a marathon runner.
If you went to the gym this morning, you’re probably thinking to yourself: I’m active! Of course I’m active! But even if you ran three miles this morning—if you spend the rest of the day sitting in an office chair, you lead a sedentary lifestyle. If you didn’t run three miles this morning, but you’ve been running errands and haven’t sat down once, you’re active. Spending time working your muscles builds your muscles, but it doesn’t protect you from all the lousy stuff that can build up in your blood when you sit on your butt for hours and hours on end.
Being active isn’t just about sweating: it can be as simple as STANDING UP and walking down the hall.
Recently, researchers looked at how breaking up sitting time with short bouts of light or moderate intensity exercise impacts health. Over a five-hour period, volunteers were asked to do one of three things:
- – Just sit there
- – Sit, but take a 2-minute light intensity activity break every 20 minutes
- – Sit, but take a 2-minute moderate intensity break every 20 minutes
The results determined that just a single day of uninterrupted time sitting can be hazardous to your health. At the end of the 5 hours, the people who had been sitting still had higher blood glucose and insulin concentrations after eating compared to those that took the activity breaks. That means that just one long bout of sitting increased risk factors for diabetes.
The issue is that being sedentary and sitting too much over the course of days and years leads to back and muscle strain, heart disease, and obesity and diabetes.
So whenever possible, instead of taking a seat, GET UP!!
- – Take a break from the computer every 20-30 minutes.
- – Get up and walk around while you’re talking on the phone.
- – Get off the couch during a TV commercial and climb up and down the stairs or dance around.
- – And anytime you’re in a situation where you have to sit, break it up!
Here are more ideas for short bursts of physical activity you can do throughout the day: