What's so bad about sitting around all day?
If you're sitting at a desk reading this information, take a minute and stand up.
Federal health guidelines recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise — such as walking or jogging — every single day. But new research shows that even regular exercisers may not be doing enough to counteract the health hazards of sitting down at a desk all day long.
As New York Times columnist Gretchen Reynolds notes, "Sitting for long periods of time — when you don't stand up, don't move at all — tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles." "You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream, you start getting accumulations of fat ... in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight. You basically are much less healthy than if you're moving."
If that sounds bad to you - it is. Standing up is the easiest thing you can do to improve your health. What's even better is walking. For those of us confined to an office most of the day, try to incorporate even short periods of activity into your day. As little as walking to the printer and back several times a day can make a difference.
Gretchen Reynolds reminds us: "Humans Were Made For Walking: Walking may be the single best exercise that exists on the planet. It's low-impact and has a relatively low risk for injury. "Walking appears to be what the human body was built for," she explains. Even 15 minutes will reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Read more from her NPR interview here.