If you’re reading this email right now, there’s a great chance that you’re sitting down, whether it’s at a desk at work or on your couch at home. Recently, Runner’s World Newswire released an article that revealed how sitting actually negates the benefits of running, in other words how the negative effects of sitting long hours actually reduces the positive benefits of running time 

According to studies done by the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center, each time unit of sitting cancels out 8 percent of the gain from the same amount of running, which means 10 hours of sitting will reduce the benefits of an hour run by 80%. Since running is considered a vigorous exercise, those who work out at moderate intensity lose twice as much. 

Discouraging, aint it? There’s more…

Using objective measurements and data, Dr. Jarett Berry and colleague researchers were able to draw correlations between exercise time, sitting time and the subject’s fitness score. This study specifically focused on how sitting affects fitness and health. Researchers suggest that sedentary behavior may increase disease risk. In other words, sitting time is an independent predictor for diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and most other “lifestyle diseases.”

Most of us (and all of America) are sitting a good portion of the day. It’s pretty much unavoidable, especially if work means sitting at a desk from 9-to-5 whether in an office or even at home, while some of you sit for hours on business trips across the world. Taking today’s lifestyle into consideration, here are a few strategies to avoid excessive sitting time with a little bit of movement. At this point, any movement is good movement. 

  1. Use old-school methods of communication. Instead of sending that email or instant message to your co-worker, deliver the message to them by foot. Not only does it get you off your seat, it also gives each message a personal touch. 
  2. Take the stairs. This is the obvious, but sometimes that elevator on the way in is tempting. It’s so much easier to push a small button than to open that heavy door. Try to see the stairs as an opportunity to be accomplished daily, and that there are only so many opportunities in a day to conquer that mountain of steps.
  3. Move for lunch. Go for a walk for part (or all) of your lunch break. And if you’re ambitious, find a gym or yoga studio for a mid-day workout. Either choose a light workout, like yoga, or carry travel-size toiletries in your workbag to freshen up after a good sweat session.
  4. Stand during conference calls, walk and talk when possible and sit on a fitness ball at the desk. These are all ways that could contribute to your daily movement bank. 
  5. Hold walking meetings, build a stand-up desk and create an office culture or work environment that is conducive to movement, even subtle ones that make a difference at the end of the day.

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