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What To Do If You Sit For Long Periods

Jul 26th, 2012

sit for long periodsHealth experts agree that sitting for long periods of time is dangerous. Our bodies are not designed to hold the same position for eight or nine hours a day. Sitting for too long is linked to cancer, blood clots, and obesity as it interferes with circulation and metabolic functions. Unfortunately, we still live in a world designed for sitting for long periods, we sit when we learn, work, travel, drink, dine, and many more. Here are a few ways to minimize the health hazards if you sit for long periods of time.

At the office

Moving around the office can be tricky especially if you work in a crowded one. Remember that the frequency of movement is more important than the intensity when interrupting prolonged sitting. Taking a two-minute break every twenty minutes improves circulation and lowers glucose levels. You can add more exercise to your daily routine by taking the stairs or delivering messages in person instead of sending emails.

At your cubicle

Health experts recommend using standing desks to keep circulation up. If you can’t get one for your cubicle, set an alarm with thirty minute intervals to remind yourself to get up and move around. You can also do stationary exercises like lunges or leg stretches to improve circulation. Do not neglect your upper body as well. Stretch your neck, arms, and hips. After stretching, you can perform neck, shoulder, and back rolls. Keep your exercises simple and easy to stick to.

In the car

Avoid sitting for long periods in your car by getting out at least once every two hours. Make sure you are at a safe place when you do this. Push your seat back for more leg room when you drive, a few inches can make a big difference. Passengers can do knee-to-chest exercises every hour.

On an airplane

We spend several hours sitting when we travel by air. Interrupting prolonged sitting is difficult on an airplane. However, the cramped space makes frequent movement even more important in order to avoid blood clots. Walking up and down the aisle can annoy (and alarm) other passengers. You can take bathroom breaks every hour and take the opportunity to do exercises like jumping jacks. You can also do leg and ankle stretches while sitting to improve circulation.

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