“Sitting is the new smoking”
Have you heard this phrase in conversation or in other blog or article posts? Yes? Not surprising. No? Then your rock is larger than mine and trust me, mine is not small! So why walk while you work?
Numerous studies have taken place in the past years to compare sitting time, active time, and risk of all cause or disease specific mortality. These have all come to similar conclusions: increased sedentary time leads to increased risk of chronic disease and premature death. A recent study the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found sitting time was associated with increased risk of heart disease and death. This relationship was strongest in the most sedentary population who were sitting more than 8 hours per day.
Americans Sit Too Much
One in 4 Americans sit more than 8 hours a day, according to the CDC. Does 8 hours of sitting a day sound like excess to those of us who have a desk job? Not particularly. But almost half of Americans (44%) report they also do no ‘moderate to vigorous activity’ during the week.
Can physical activity outside of work hours reduce sedentary mortality risk? The prior study also looked at this and found even with those who were getting 419 minutes of additional activity (remember the guidelines are to get 150 min moderate to vigorous physical activity per week) had significantly increased risk of mortality and disease with 8 or more hours of sitting per day. So that answer is sadly, maybe not. While risk was decreased with increase physical activity, each group with 8 or more hours of sitting a day were at increased risk of poor health. *Note, this study was over a median of 9 year follow-up time, so the health risk of extended sitting does have short and long-term consequences.
Do these and other findings on the effects of sedentary time spell doom and gloom for all working men and women? The answer is No. You have control to change your risk!
Walk AND Work
The first thing to keep in mind on this topic is that walking while you work does not automatically mean decreased productivity. You do not have to trade health for success, or success for health, as the current work climate and culture may have us believe. You may actually find that walking while you work increases your productivity.
Have you ever been so tired sitting at your desk that you ‘nod off’? Maybe close your eyes for a few seconds, or simply feel sluggish? This is not productivity at its finest, this is your brain falling asleep. If you stand at work, or even take the next step to walk while you work, you will have increased blood flow to the brain, increased ability to focus, and minimize your health risks associated with extensive sitting. This all sounds like increased productivity to me!
Need more? Other benefits of walking while you work include improved bone health (impact exercise), improved physical functioning, increased calories burned (every mile walked is about 100 calories burned), and getting a head-start on your 150 min+ per week of exercise.
How do I Walk and Work?
There are many options to add walking to your day. Such as: Parking further from work, take the stairs every opportunity, walk and talk for meetings or conference calls, walk during your lunch break, and set an alarm every hour to stand and stretch or even jog in place.
Other options? Find yourself a treadmill desk! BODYCRAFT has two different options available that can work for both small spaces or a large space/ home office. The BODYCRAFT SpaceWalker is the perfect little treadmill desk can can fit under your current standing desk, or use with a small laptop or tablet. It is lightweight and easy to fold up and transport, but powerful enough to support up to 300 lbs. Many of BODYCRAFT’s own staff members use this products at their desk or home!
Option two is the BODYCRAFT TD250 Treadmill Desk that can convert from a walking tread desk to a full-functioning running treadmill! This is perfect for the home or an executive office space. This option allows for a two-in-one quality treadmill that will not let you down. From beginners on their wellness journey, to the advanced athlete, you will not find a better option in its class.
While sitting is not exactly the “new smoking”, research does support that replacing at least a half hour of sitting time a day is associated with up to a 50% reduction in early mortality. Findings suggest that replacing a small amount of sitting time in your day with even light physical activity (such as walking at a slow 1.5 mph pace) may reduce the risk of premature death in low active adults. This is something you CAN do to improve your health. Sitting is not an addiction, it is a choice. Today is the day you can choose to take your next steps toward a healthier, longer life. Whether you choose a BODYCRAFT SpaceWalker or TD250 Treadmill Desk to help you get there, or simply break up your day by walking around the office, we are proud and support your determination to live active.