It’s commonly discussed among medical professionals that extended sitting is a potential health hazard. New studies encourage individuals that have a rather sedentary lifestyle to make a point of pursuing physical activity for cardiovascular health, among other things. While it may sound daunting, remaining mobile throughout the day is a great way to mitigate the adverse effects of excessive sitting, and it’s not as hard as you might think.
Studies show that taking short breaks from sitting every hour or so can alleviate most of these health risks. In contrast to working out, (which while healthy, still doesn’t counter the effects of sitting for long periods of time) creating pockets of moderate activity throughout your day is the best way to combat the impact of extended sitting.
As for what’s enough to be considered “moderate activity,” that depends. While it might not be possible to go for a jog, take a walk, or do some push-ups in the middle of a crowded office, sometimes something as small as standing up to stretch is good enough. Having a height-adjustable desk helps in this regard, as you can alternate from sitting to standing and give your spine, hips, and glutes a chance to relax. So, it’s time to feel a little better about taking a water or coffee break here and there.
But honestly while on the topic of coffee, believe it or not research shows that moving within 30min intervals even gently can increase concentration and energy. New Balance piloted a program and 42% of employees reported they noticed a significant increase in engagement.
In the end, the most important thing is to remain active and take frequent breaks from your work-day – anything that serves to break up what would otherwise be a prolonged period with little movement, is not worth the energy (or lack thereof it). As noted, even a little bit goes a long way in preserving your health and keeping you on your “A” Game.