Exercising for 30-minutes a day is great – but if you spend the rest of the time sitting at your desk – you’re still at risk of a wide range of health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, metabolic dysfunction and even depression.
‘What we all need is less sitting and more movement,’ says Nicola, whose personal training and online gym foreverfit.tv helps people around the world find true health and wellbeing.
How much of your day do you spend sitting?
Research shows that if you sit for longer than six hours a day you’re increasing your risk of heart disease by up to 64 per cent, shaving off seven years of quality life!
‘If two people eat the same foods and work out the same amount, research tells us that the person who sits more every day will be more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer,” she says. “The good news is, it’s easy to remedy.’
It’s not just about hitting the gym
She says movement doesn’t have to mean upping your gym classes or extra power walks, it’s about looking at your day to day activities and simply bringing more movement into your life.
‘Little things like walking to work, standing up when talking on the phone or setting an alarm to remind you to move every hour can make a huge difference to your physical and mental health,’ says Nicola. ‘You’ll have more energy, be more productive and a role model for others.’
One study suggests that for each hour you spend sitting you’re reducing your life expectancy by about 21.8 minutes, regardless of your exercise and diet. A good rule of thumb is to spend half your day standing or walking, and don’t sit for longer than 90 minutes without taking a short standing or movement orientated break.
‘Some work environments are hard to change but don’t let this stop you from thinking of ways to bring more movement to your life,’ she says. ‘There are loads of ways to be more active, just get creative!’
Simple ways to get moving more
- Try a stand-up desk
- Take breaks every 90 minutes and move your body
- Stand up when talking on the phone or Skype
- Slot workouts into rigid time points in your day to break up sitting
- Do an activity daily that you love
- Organise stand up meetings
- Grab a mate and take a stroll at lunchtime
- Put your phone walking distance away and check it throughout the day
- Set an alarm on your watch or phone as a reminder every hour to move
- Cut down on couch time: ensure you’ve spent 50 per cent of your day on your feet. If you have, relax and unwind, if not stay active.
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