The Number One Thing That is Killing You and How You Can Fix It

Have you seen the film Wall-e? Remember the part at the end of the film when everyone has become obese from sitting in motorised chairs as their main mode of transportation around the spaceship? They no longer walk, they glide. This is how I feel right now. 

fat people

This week I calculated I was sat in a chair (or couch) for over 53 hours. There are roughly 112 waking hours a week, which means I spend half of my time sitting!

Do you know what this does to a person?

  1. People who sit for long periods of time are 24% more likely to die from health problems compared to people who sit less, according to the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Sitting more than 8 hours a day is linked to a lot of negative health effects
  2. There is an 18% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease
  3. A 17% increased risk of dying from cancer
  4. A 91% increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes 

So it’s no surprise that over the last 20 years, sitting time has increased by 8% and obesity has doubled. I personally sit for longer periods of time than I need to, sometimes I even hold off on going to the restroom in order to get something done urgently. My breaking point was this week, after I got up from my desk I tripped over because I had been sitting so long both of my legs had fallen asleep! That’s right, my body literally had enough. 

Following this and because I am a nerd, I did a bit of research, what does sitting down actually do to your body?

  • Enzymes that help break down fat drop by 90%
  • Electrical activity in the leg muscles shut off
  • Calorie burning drops to 1 per minute

I was shocked about the electrical activity, THEY ACTUALLY SHUT OFF (eek!), but it made sense after I had my little breakdown this week. This really made me think about how much I actually do sit per day, it’s not just at work, when I get home (after I feed, bathe and put the Bear to sleep) I generally sit on the couch blog or watch TV until it’s bed time! To be fair, I am normally exhausted by this point so what’s a girl to do?

I put together a list for myself to start getting my big bum out of that seat!

Ask your HR department or manager for a standing/sitting desk. Luckily we have these at work already and we hot desk, so if I get there early in the morning (which I do every day) I can always get a standing/sitting desk. These are amazing! You have the option to put it up or down, so if I get tired of standing I can put it down and chill, this helps me the most! You can also try riser recliner chairs – adjustamatic so at least you have the option to into a more healthy 90 degree position. 

Start talking to people face to face! I work at a large corporation where my colleagues are spread around the campus, so if I wanted to speak to someone from another department (which I typically have to do in order to get my job done) it will take a good 5 minutes to get to their desk, so generally I will just send them an email or call them. Next week I am going to go over to their desk to get that little bit of exercise and prevent myself from sitting for longer than one or two hours at a time. 

face to face

Put in a reminder to get up. I scheduled in a little reminder in my diary called, ‘Get Up, Stand Up’ (yes, I’m a Bob Marley fan) for 5 mins at 11:20am every day. So far this has worked, I’ll normally go get a coffee or some water. 

calendar

Take the stairs. I have been doing this one already but sometimes I’ll be lazy and get in the lift. Not only does this burn calories but now knowing it will prevent cancer I’ll definitely be taking this more seriously!

stairs

Plan a activity family night each week, for instance bowling or mini golf. This is probably the most difficult for me as it’s hard trying to schedule time with my partner to set aside a night each week where we do something (outside of the house) as a family. If you can’t get out of the house then playing Twister or doing a family yoga session could be fun? (albeit I can’t really see my boyfriend doing Yoga, would be funny though!)

family

I’ve already started on my journey to healthy living and hopefully over the next couple weeks I’ll start to do more of the above list, next step is changing my eating habits! (pizza anyone?!)

8 thoughts on “The Number One Thing That is Killing You and How You Can Fix It

  1. Great post and so true, we do sit a lot more than we really need to. Unfortunately, I’m wheelchair bound so I spend a lot more time sitting than most. A recent scare had me back in the hospital where I was told that I’d tested positive for a blood clot and the best way to prevent blood clots is to keep moving. I’ve decided that having to sit down all day doesn’t mean that I can’t exercise a little.
    Keep moving!
    #BigPinkLink

  2. This is so interesting!! Oh my word I need to start moving more and doing less sitting – we have become quite sedentary – I can see that. Thank you for raising the issue and scaring the proverbials out of me! Oh and I look forward to playing twister!! #BigPinkLink

  3. This is a great post, full of brilliant ideas. I hate sitting at a desk, but little changes, such as the ones you suggest, can make a huge difference. Thank you for being inspiring. Alison x #BigPinkLink

  4. Errr, that’s quite worrying?! I knew sitting for long periods of time wasn’t great, but I didn’t know that electrical activity actually shuts down!! #bigpinklink

  5. Very good point – it’s just so easy to sit down and watch TV or blog or check social media that by the end of the day, I realise I’ve barely stood up at all! Some great tips too on combatting this (used to love my old works standing desks) #coolmumclub

  6. There’s some pretty scary stats in here! When I was working we were forever in meetings dotted in different buildings so that got me moving. Since being a SAHM I seem to have the opposite problem – I need to put an alarm in my phone that says SIT DOWN FOR 5 MINUTES.
    Good luck with phase 2! I look forward to seeing the anti-pizza post 😉
    Thanks for linking with #coolmumclub

  7. Since I started blogging I am definitely sitting on my butt way may than I used to and I can really notice the difference. I have always worn a FitBit but have just upgraded to one that beeps at me every hour to remind me to move. #coolmumclub

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