Has Sitting become the new Smoking?
Author; Angie Mardon, Engine Room Hub
Do you spend your working day glued to a computer screen, sitting in meetings or tied to a phone?
For several years now Nilofer Merchant has been writing and speaking about how much time we spend sitting at our desk or in meetings and the impact this has on our health and wellbeing. She advises “Got a meeting? Take a Walk”
Some of the stats she has presented are – people spend 9.3 hours per day on their derrieres, eclipsing even the 7.7 hours they spend sleeping. Their sedentary lifestyles contribute 10 percent of the risk of breast and colon cancer, 6 percent of the risk of heart disease, and 7 percent of the risk of type 2 diabetes.
She said “In that way, sitting has become the smoking of our generation”
The double-whammy for the fitness brigade is that exercising every day won’t necessarily undo this damage. In fact, excessive sitting might negate the benefits of our daily exercise. As for me and assuming Nilofer is right, this is just the excuse I have been looking for to avoid exercising!
Seriously though, she does suggest some small measures to mitigate the risks such as:
- Standing when you use your mobile
- Use a Cordless handset so you can move when using a landline
- Move your printer away from your desk so you have to get up
- Take the stairs instead of the lift between floors
- Walk to your colleagues to talk to them instead of sending an email
- Get up to move around for a few minutes or so every hour
Failing that, you can be like me, ignore the research and everything in this article, buy yourself a couple of doughnuts and a cup of coffee and have them at your desk – but I hope you don’t!