The latest craze in the get-fit-fast movement is stand up desks at work. But are they all they are cracked up to be?
Experts note that being sedentary – think 5 hours or more at the desk in front of your computer per day – has the same terrible health effects as smoking over a pack of cigarettes that day! But in this day and age where we are all glued to our laptops, phones, and tablets – how to we avoid this trap?
· Stand up every 20 minutes. That’s when the harmful chemical changes begin within your body. Make it a point to move – even if it’s just a quick jaunt to the bathroom or copy machine.
· Get a fitbit, set a timer on your phone, or put a reminder in your calendar. These things remind you to get up frequently and motivate you to move more.
· Plan your day with frequent changes in scenery – lovingly referred to as “workstation popcorn.” Pop from a coffee shop, to your local co-working space, to your client’s office. If they are close enough together, walk or bike from one to the next!
· It isn’t all about standing – it’s about moving. Try switching your classic desk and chair to a stand-up version or use a bouncy yoga ball as your desk’s chair.
· Aim for a 70:30 split of standing (or moving) to sitting throughout your day.
Impressive but true – making an effort to keep moving throughout your day will significantly reduce your risk for heart disease. Studies have shown that “active couch potatoes” – people who train for marathons after work but sit for 12 hours during the day – have worse cardiac health and more long-term disability than those who simply take the effort to get up and down throughout. In other words, a chunk of exercise does not counteract the bad effects of a day of sitting.
As a bonus, most people who’ve tried this switch experience better mood, more energy, and less fatigue throughout the day.
So get off your chair and join the movement!
Dr. Mark Turshen MD and Dr. Lauren Hedde DO are accepting new patients at their Direct Doctors family practice in Wickford. Direct Doctors is an innovative primary care practice emphasizing an improved doctor-patient relationship. Drs. Hedde and Turshen offer 24/7 access, no waiting, same day visits, home visits, and a doctor who knows YOU well! If you are frustrated with “fast-food”, “cookie-cutter” health care, Direct Doctors may be just the prescription for you. Check out the Direct Doctors difference at www.directdoctors.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 401-400-2699.
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.