On January 22, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, published a new study that provides more evidence that a sedentary lifestyle is hazardous to your health. The study looked at over 2,300 colorectal cancer patients’ data and found that patients who sat for six or more hours a day had a 36 percent increased risk of dying. Patients who regularly exercised on the other hand, were 28 percent less likely to die.
Past studies have found that sitting for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to your health, even if you exercise regularly. Doctors have not yet determined why sitting has such a negative impact on the human body, but they do know that levels of glucose, insulin and hormones are affected by lack of movement and may have some connection to an increased risk of dying.
While doctors work to figure out the science behind the hazards of prolonged sitting, you can take action now. Making some small changes in your routine can help reduce the risk associated with sitting. Some things you can do to ensure you stand more often are:
- Get an adjustable desk that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing.
- If your work cannot accommodate you with an adjustable desk, set an alarm on your computer for every hour. When it alerts you, stand up and stretch for 5-10 minutes or take a short walk around the office.
- For short informal meetings, take a spin around the block while chatting.
- Park farther away so you’ll have a longer walk to the office.
- Take the stairs.
- Find ways to get up and move around the office more often. Use a printer located in another room or use a cup for water so you have to get up multiple times throughout the work day to refill it.
- At home resist the urge to plunk down on the couch for hours at a time. If you do want to watch television make yourself get up at each commercial break.
Think of your daily routine and jot down some ways you can get up more and move around. Keep your list with you and slowly incorporate the new habits into your routine. Before you know it you’ll be sitting less and moving more.