Hi Human! I’m here to help you stay healthy at work!
If you are desk-bound I know I can help you and I’m so glad you are here!
Clearly, you care about your body- thank goodness! It’s the only place you have to live.
My goal is to help people stay healthy. As humans, we spend way too much time seated at a desk.
It’s imperative that we get up and move at every opportunity.
You may have heard that “sitting is the new smoking”. Perhaps you haven’t. A lot of recent research draws this conclusion and I agree it’s a massive public health concern. So, what can YOU do to improve your health if you’re a deskbound human? Moving. Period.
A Higher Risk of Death from all Causes is Associated with Long Periods of Sitting.
Every week I spend a little time doing research on moving your body and sitting for my moveatworkchallenge.com program. That way I can consistently tell my humans how awesome they are for moving their bodies at work. This week I came across something I discovered that I wanted to share, as it really shook me up. The American Cancer Society conducted a study that was published this past summer in the American Journal of Epidemiology and found that a higher risk of DEATH FROM ALL CAUSES was associated with long periods of sitting, including 14 of the 22 causes of death measured by the study. This includes 8 of the 10 most common causes of death, including Alzheimer disease, all cardiovascular disease (including coronary heart disease and stroke-specific mortality), cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonitis due to solids and liquids, diabetes, kidney disease, liver, peptic ulcer and other digestive disease, nervous disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, Parkinson disease, and suicide.
Sheesh, is that not crazy?
An additional study from the researchers at the Mayo Clinic stated that if you sit for more than 8 hours a day with no physical activity your risk of dying is similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking. That stat kind of makes the saying “sitting is the new smoking” a bit more real. It is scary.
The thing is that humans are meant to move- we are part of the animal kingdom. We were not meant to sit in a car, then at a desk all day, again in the car, then at home in front of the TV. Studies have shown that an hour of exercise a day does not and cannot reverse the damage that is done to our bodies by sitting. I discuss this at length in my other blogs here and here.
How to fight the siting body:
My way of life is that every little bit counts and that is why I created the moveatworkchallenge.com program which helps get you up and moving at work. According to researchers, the only way to actually combat the negative effects of being seated is to get up and move your body 2 minutes for every 30 minutes that you are seated. For many that is not realistic so they enjoy my membership program where they get to make requests and can complete strengthening, stretching, balance, flexibility and so much more at work with no equipment- besides a occasional chair, desk, or wall. If you want to stay healthy at work you can sign up for a free video to test out the membership program here.
Look, if movement were a pill, everyone would take it. But unfortunately it’s not.
There’s good news however. You can move your body!
What happens to us when we sit?
When we sit our hip flexors shorten, we decrease blood flow to our lower extremities, our rib cage compresses, the discs in our back compress, our back weakens...the list goes on. So how can you stay healthy at work? To try and combat some of those issues, I demoed three exercise you can do for your lower body to stay healthy at work. In addition, you’ll get some balance work and “secret core”. As always never go into or through pain; stop if something hurts. Also, try and smile a little. :)
3 Exercises for Hips, Core and Balance you can do at Work:
Use chair if balance is a challenge
Pull your belly button up and in and stay braced through the core for these moves:
10-15x Leg swings- Forward and backward leg swing
10-15x Leg swings- Lateral legs swings side to side
8x each direction- Leg Circles
Repeat on other side
So there you have it. A few moves you can do at work to help your deskbound body. To stretch and move those hips, work on balance and activate your core. Staying healthy at work is easier than you think. If you are into the whole “living a better life” thing and would like to stay healthy at work and improve your body in 5-7 minutes a day check out my Move at Work Challenge membership program. It’s less than a cup of coffee a day. Or click here to sign up for a free demo video.
I am always curious to hear what the humans are requesting so please comment with request for upcoming articles on how to move your body and stay healthy at work. If you want a weekly newsletter with, move at work videos, and other tips and tricks to stay healthy at work please subscribe here.
💪 Saara Haapanen BSc, MSc, PhD Candidate Colorado Governor's Council for Active and Healthy Lifestyles MoveatWorkChallenge.com Creator PerformanceisHaapanen.com