Sedentary Lifestyle: Couch Potato Meets Cubicle

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office-cubiclesAs someone who has spent the last 15 years sitting at a desk during work, a total of 31,200 hours, I can definitely say my body is starting to feel it. At 44 years old I’m still very active, but regular daily exercise often takes a back seat to other obligations.

Not to mention in my youth I could get away with hours spent sitting studying at the library or in class without getting up to shall we say “stretch out my legs.” Don’t get me wrong I do find myself getting up to get the occasional cup of coffee or use the fax machine, anything to wake myself up at the office.

We all know a lack of physical activity can create an onset of many health risks and diseases, but if you’re at all like me there just isn’t enough time in my week to devote to this. Now that we at LifeSpan have introduced out new Treadmill Desk were finding an increasing amount in the benefits a little more activity can bring and the harm of living a sedentary lifestyle (aka “couch potato”).  Societies lack of movement has literally brought on a new field of medical research termed inactivity physiology, focusing on the effects of prolonged periods of inactivity. Basically, until recently we as human beings have been nomadic and therefore this is the lifestyle our bodies have evolved to maintain. When you throw in high fructose corn syrup, online shopping and forty-plus hour work weeks our bodies don’t know how to adjust.  According to Marc Hamilton, a PH.D associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri, when you sit for prolonged periods of time, your body begins to shut down at a metabolic level. When muscles meant for large amounts of activity are sedentary, circulation will slow and you will burn fewer calories. If you’re picturing images of walrus’s laying on a sheet of ice or hippos basking in the sun, you’re not that far of base visually.

All in all while hours spent at the office may be great for your pocket book, they are taking a toll on your on all of our bodies and there are many things you can do to get you up and moving in the workplace. Beyond following my example of making regular drips to the coffee machine you can try getting up and talking to a coworker rather than taking the easy way out and emailing them, taking the stairs to your office or spend some time standing at your computer.

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