You might have heard that sitting is the new smoking. Indeed, it is true that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to various serious health conditions. Interestingly, there is compelling research that supports it1.
Sedentary time is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular and all-cause mortality; the strength of the association is most consistent for diabetes.Wilmot, E.G., Edwardson, C.L., Achana, F.A. et al. Diabetologia (2012) 55: 2895. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-012-2677-z
Today, the number of people engaged in sedentary lifestyle is increasing. One of the most common sedentary lifestyles is sitting for long hours consistently. It is true in both the home and workplace environments.
Fortunately, restoring health is just as simple as doing as many movements throughout the day. Although there is a certain threshold in which regular exercise can counter the unhealthy effects sedentary lifestyle, natural movements help. Some experts refer to this as nutritional movements.
There is even a website nutritious movement offering courses for physical activity. However, it is not necessary as long as you keep natural movements as part of your daily routine.
Regardless you stay at home or the workplace, and you can implement natural or nutritional movements.
How Much Sitting Is Too Much?
A lot of recommendations about how much time is enough to counter the effect of a sedentary lifestyle. Of course, the type of exercise that is effective for staying healthy such as the moderate to vigorous physical activity, HIIT, and even simple exercises like walking and running.
But how much sitting is considered way too much to be destructive for health? Now we know as one study2 recommends not to sit more than 3 hours a
Sitting less than 3 hours a day is a good start. But is it possible?
Of course, it is possible. Well, initially for most people living a sedentary lifestyle almost all their life, it can be difficult.
However, perceiving the health benefits it can give along with strong willpower, it is possible to sit less than 3 hours a day. Listing all the possible health benefits can further keep the motivation high of doing more movements.
Why Sitting Too Much Creates Such Diminishing Health Effects?
Dr. Joan Vernikos, author of the book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals and former director of NASA’s Life Sciences Division says our body needs a perpetual motion.
She even mentioned that standing or the number of times standing up is better than walking. Moreover, traditional and natural movements are more than just traditional gym exercises.
Dr. Vernikos emphasizes that simple movements like standing, picking up something, stirring a pasta sauce, etc are considered exercises.
Of course, doing house chores like cleaning and gardening are exercises, as well. Even when you kneel to pray is an exercise. If we think of movements, there are endless traditional movements to exercise the body.
The good news, these are free to do. All we have to do is do it.
It is surprising how sitting can cause aging while walking keeps us younger and even live longer.
Standing Is Better Than Walking
That is a surprising statement from Dr. Vernikos. So, why not make the most of it?
For people at home watching TV, instead of sitting all throughout the program, make an effort and be conscious to stand up every few minutes.
Then, walk around the couch or chair where you sit and stand for a few minutes. And then, you can sit back and repeat the process.
Additionally, if you’re working at home, it would be easier to move around the house if you’re already standing. Hence, take advantage of a standing desk.
At work, a
Moreover, if you need something from someone, walk to the person’s table instead of sending a message.
There are endless ways to move naturally. Of course, combining more movements with a proper nutrition is an ideal recipe for better health.
Furthermore, adding a regular mindfulness exercise to the routine makes the recipe even better.
Keep It Simple
Isn’t it natural movements are simple to do? And, yet most people don’t do it.
Probably, one reason this happens is a
During late 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the second Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. In these recent guidelines, every move counts as
However, simple is not easy for most people. Again, it is due habit but it does not mean impossible.
Therefore, strive to do the right thing. Eventually, when you break the unhealthy sedentary habit, the rest becomes simple. You don’t even need expensive gym membership and equipment to exercise, you can do it at home.
Natural movements along with full body workouts you can do at home is a good combination.