Business owners, executives, corporate employees and couch potato’s have one thing in common. They all need intermittent physical activity to break up the time spent on their butt.
Do you sit, whether in your office, on public transport or lounging at home, for more than six hours a day? If yes, your risk of heart disease has increased by up to 64 percent. You're shaving years off your life and you're also increasing your risk of cancer. Simply put, sitting is killing you. The good news is that it's easy to counteract this with small simple actions.
Bottoms up or bowel cancer.
According to the latest CDC consensus in 2014, the main cause of deaths across the world were heart diseases caused by cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. In recent years, more research is demonstrating increasing associations between extended sitting duration and chronic diseases. One study in Western Australia found that an office desk job can double your risk of bowel cancer.
A survey by JobStreet in Singapore revealed nearly nine in 10 people (88 per cent) polled said they are working beyond their official hours. Heavy workload and unreasonable deadlines were the main reasons for working overtime. This is fast becoming the reason why the incidence of work-related stress disorders including heart disease, diabetes and cancer along with musculoskeletal diseases (like neck pain, back pain and spinal degeneration) are increasing at an alarming rate.
Although many corporations are working on reducing work stress and implementing work-life balance initiatives more attention needs to be given to our sitting habits. Corporate health and wellness programs are a great start, however a yoga or zumba class once or even a few times a week does not address one of the most prominent stressors employees’ face. According to the Canadian Employees Survey, employees find sitting on their desk all day one of the main cause of their stress. The common problems reported as a result of prolonged sitting include:
- Weight Gain
- Mental fatigue
What does bottoms up mean?
Bottoms up, in this instance, does not mean to down your alcoholic beverage as fast as possible. It literally means get your bottom off your seat. Stand up, go for a walk and stretch a little, or a lot.
One of the best ways to break up the curse of prolonged sitting is simply to stand up. Standing up a simple, yet effective way to activate muscles and counteract the cardiovascular health risks of prolonged sitting. Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division explains that a change in posture that acts “against gravity” has the most beneficial impact on health. She recommended that you need to stand up at least 35 times per day, spread throughout the day.
Another way to break up your sitting habit is to walk to your colleagues desk to discuss that certain point, instead of emailing them, and cc’ing a bunch of other people who hate being cc’ed into emails not directed at them.
If you need to discuss or brainstorm ideas with someone, a walking meeting may be more productive than booking a meeting room and sitting behind another desk. Walking and movement helps perk up the brain, makes you less tired, and is more conducive to creativity than a large empty boardroom.
Try these 3 things:
1. Stand up, then sit down as after clearing each email. When you stand, you’re not allowed to use your hands to push you up, nor are you allowed to bend over forward too much. Tone and train your abs, butt and thighs.
2. Walk to your colleague’s desk for a face-to-face discussion rather than sending multiple emails to and fro. It’s much easier to discuss matters in person, and is often easier to come to a resolution on the spot. You can always send that follow up email of your discussion if its really required.
3. Go out for lunch. Don't ask your colleague to bring back food for you, and if your friend asks you to bring a sandwich back for them, ask them to go get it themselves. Lunch time is a great opportunity to connect with friends, discuss certain work issues, refresh and recharge for the afternoon and get moving.
For more information on sitting posture, desk exercises, and all the essentials for those stuck at a desk for more than 2 hours a day, pick up a copy of The Pain-Free Desk Warrior, Free Yourself From Aches and Pains. Save your back and live a joyful quality life.
For more information on sitting posture, desk exercises, and all the essentials for those stuck at a desk for more than 2 hours a day, download my free guide, which includes 50 Simple Ways to Reduce the Risk of Heart disease, Diabetes, Cancer and Body aches while in the office. Save your back and live a joyful quality life.