Don’t Just Sit There!

A study published last year in the Journal of the American Heart Association linked TV watching with death. Same goes for playing video games. Morbid, I know. But it’s not the watching or gaming that’s killing us – it’s the sitting.

“The researchers discovered that the more time a person sits, per day, was associated with an increased the risk of dying from all causes, as well as the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The really key finding in all this? Sitting was an independent risk factor separate from how active the study subjects were. No matter whether you jog, work out or get in a daily swim — if you spend large swathes of the day sitting, you’re elevating your risk of death, especially from cardiovascular disease.”

I have to admit that every time I would read a suggestion that we park furthest from the door in order to get more exercise, I would sort of roll my eyes. Is this the best we can do? Nevertheless it really is simple, good advice.

Stand up and MOVE.

It’s funny how many cars circle the gym parking lot for the closest spot to the door. Although I know that finding that perfect spot may have more to do with the hustle or some sort of intrinsic reward. Am I right or do we really not want to walk even that little bit? But sitting for extended periods of time is not just bad for our health, it also contributes to low back and neck pain. Instead of investing in ergonomic chairs maybe organizations should invest in a initiatives that encourage their employees to get up and move often throughout the day.

So what can you do to counteract the negative side effects of sitting? Well, simply put – stand up. I tell my clients to set an alarm at their desk to remind them to get up, stretch and simply walk a little bit. Have you every tried to standing on a Wobble Board, Balance Cushion or Bosu Ball? It really doesn’t need to be grand, just take small steps to break the pattern of sitting. Your body will thank you for it.

Enjoy yourself in good health and fitness, Gena.

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Gena Govas

I am an OPA National level athlete, six time marathoner and life long fitness enthusiast. My passion for exercise is the added force behind the success of my clients. I'm a Can Fit Pro Personal Trainer Specialist, and upcoming Can Fit Pro Nutrition Specialist and Tabata Certified Instructor. I have also completed Can Fit Pro Older Adult training. Since 2003 I have worked with a variety of fitness levels in Toronto and the GTA. The advances in research constantly change what we know about exercise, diet and general well-being and I stay on top of changes through continued education, research and training.