Authors, have you ever thought that sitting for extended periods in front of a computer each day can lead to several chronic diseases?
According to Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative, there are at least 24 different chronic diseases and conditions associated with excessive sitting.
As he wrote in Scientific American: “Sitting for long periods is bad because the human body was not designed to be idle. I have worked in obesity research for several decades, and my laboratory has studied the effect of sedentary lifestyles at the molecular level all the way up to office design.
Lack of movement slows metabolism, reducing the amount of food that is converted to energy and thus promoting fat accumulation, obesity, and the litany of ills—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and more—that come with being overweight. Sitting is bad for lean people, too.
For instance, sitting in your chair after a meal leads to high blood sugar spikes, whereas getting up after you eat can cut those spikes in half.”
Mentally, women who sit more than seven hours per day were found to have a 47 percent high risk of depression than women who sit for less. If we want to lower our risk of chronic disease, we need to get out of our chairs! Just as important as regular exercise.
Here are 5 Tips for Better Health
- Stand Up
Walk about. Shake that body. Some offices actually have stand-up work stations thereby decreasing 25 percent of their sitting time and boosted well-being and decreasing tiredness and appetite.
- Get Moving
Take a walk around the office/house while you’re on the phone, walk to communicate with others in your office (instead of e-mailing), and even conduct walking meetings.
- Monitor Your Screen Height
The top of your computer screen should be level with your eyes, so you’re looking down about 10 degrees to view the screen. If it’s lower, it can lead to back and neck pain. If it’s higher, it can cause dry eye syndrome.
- Imagine Your Head as a Bowling Ball
If your head is properly aligned, this will avoid stress on the neck and spine. Keep your head upright and do a few chin retractions, or making a double chin. All this will help line up your head, neck, and spine.
- “Pomodoro Technique”
Pomodoro is Italian for tomato. Well, this refers to those little tomato-shaped timers like the one below. Wind up for say 25 minutes (or you can set an online calculator). Focus on your work during this time and when the timer goes off take 5 minutes to walk, do jumping jacks, or otherwise take a break from your work.
You’ll be productive while avoiding burnout.