Friday, February 22, 2013
Think you’re sitting pretty at work because you exercise regularly? Think again.
After sitting all day at work, you hit the gym afterward for a hard hour of weights and cardio. Or maybe you swim laps for 45 minutes before picking up your kids. Perhaps you rise earlier than everyone else in your house to creep into the basement, where you put in time on your stationary bicycle. It all sounds good, right?
Well, it’s great —but it may not be enough.
If you’re sitting all day and hoping to make up for it with vigorous exercise at the beginning, middle or end, you’re going to come up short; on good health and on life expectancy — yes, life expectancy.
According to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, the most recent studies lay it out pretty clearly: If you’re sitting all day without breaks to get up and stretch, walk or just get up and move — you’re doing more harm than good.
“Don’t despair — and don’t quit your vigorous exercise routine, either. Adding in some simple things to your workday can help,” said Christina Vanderwerf, Providence marketing and public affairs manager.
Providence has developed some simple techniques that can change your health status for the better if sitting is a required part of your job.
Start by setting the timer on your phone or other device to go off every hour. When it does, get up. Walk the halls. Take the stairs. Do some yoga stretches in an enclosed area or empty conference room. Go visit a colleague instead of responding via email.
Or, make walking a regular part of your day.
Walk outside just to get some air. Walk at lunch. Get a walking buddy.
If you can’t leave the desk, stand more. Wiggle your toes. Shake your hips. Whatever you can to move more, do.
Begin your new movement focus before you arrive at your desk.
On the way into work, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Park farther away from your office entrance. If you take public transportation to or from work, stand; don’t sit.
For more simple health tips and tricks for you and your family, visit the new Providence Health Plan website at www.providence.org/health-plan.