So you’ve been working all day, and you’re tired, and all you want to do is kick back in your lazy-boy. But wait… What?! If you are like most Americans, chances are you’ve already been sitting down for most of the day (unless your employer supplies you with a standing desk or other standing devices, such as http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/05/ditch-your-office-chair-for-a-new-standing-desk/). It’s time to stand up and move if anything. However, I would argue that just working out at the beginning or end of the day for an hour isn’t enough, and here are my top 3 reasons why:
1) Health Maintenance and Disease Prevention
Regular physical activity will mitigate the risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis, and the risk of falling as you get older. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, 30 minutes of exercise a day for 5 days a week is enough activity to significantly reduce the risk of the listed diseases. If 30 minutes a day isn’t easy enough, it gets better. The exercise doesn’t even have to be 30 long continuous minutes, and it doesn’t require you to sweat buckets. Basically a brisk walk, or other moderate intensity exercises, for 30 minutes a day can be divided into 3 minute segments over a 10 hour day. The higher the intensity, the better. Want some “deskercise” suggestions? Just ask a Roam Fitness Certified Personal Trainer!
2) Sedentary Conditions are Bad for the Brain and Muscles
In short, metabolic waste is formed as the body burns fats and sugar to perform daily task. This metabolic waste enters your blood stream where it will then travel to the kidneys to be filtered. Sitting hunched over a desk all day will result in a lower heart rate because the body is resting, which ultimately leads to poor blood circulation. Blood pools up and becomes more stagnant in capillaries and veinules and results in poor metabolic waste excretion. Ultimately, the stagnant blood will result in a drop of work productivity and leave you feeling lethargic. The occasional stand up stretch and office lap will be just enough to bring up your mood and pump fresh blood to the brain and muscles.
3) Sitting Creates the Perfect Formula for an Injury
Although our desk chairs may feel comfortable, your posterior chain muscles are screaming for help. As I mentioned earlier, sitting down for long periods of time will result in poor blood flow. To top off the poor blood flow, the constant source of body heat and compression from sitting on the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back leads to the perfect combination to essentially glue the muscle layers together. This process will ultimately severely limit hip mobility, which can lead to other bodily injuries while performing a physically demanding task. So what can we do to counteract this? 1) Stretch often. 2) Walk more. 3)Try to perform several dynamic stretches in your office throughout the day.
Written by Andrew Slezak
Certified Personal Trainer, Roam Fitness
McGoogan, E. (2012, March 16). Humans are Designed to Move. Retrieved from Fully Present: http://www.fullypresent.org/humans-are-designed-to-move/
Sitting At Work: Why It's Dangerous And What You Can Do. (2012, July 24). Retrieved from Huffington Post Healthy Living: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/24/sitting-at-work-why-its-dangerous-alternatives_n_1695618.html?view=print&comm_ref=false
Staff, M. C. (2014, February 5). Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/exercise/art-20048389?pg=2&p=1