The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), reports chronic diseases to be the number one threat to public health, far exceeding infectious diseases in the United States. And, if you are among the 85% of America’s workforce who sit at a desk all day, consider this: prolonged sitting is the #1 contributor to chronic diseases.
While the figures are alarming, the good news is that small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on turning things around. Studies confirm that a modest amount of movement every hour or so can be extremely beneficial in the reduction in the threat of the top chronic diseases. And there can be immediate benefit to one’s feeling of well-being. A study in the Internal Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity reported that participants who moved around for even a modest amount of time every hour, felt less fatigued, were more productive and were happier than those who sat for prolonged periods without moving around.
Moving around doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to be consistent. Some ideas can be put in motion before you even leave home. Stretch when you get up in the morning. Walk around your house for a minute or two as you’re trying to get started. Drink that first cup of coffee or tea standing up. Once at the office, park your car far away from the door, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stand up while taking or making phone calls or reading your emails. Even if you only have 30 minutes for lunch, take the last five or ten to walk around the building or parking lot or go up and down the stairs a few times. Not only will you benefit physically from moving, but chances are you’ll thwart off that feeling of lethargy that hits after lunch and be more inclined to continue to move throughout the afternoon.