It's been more than 40 years since the first anti-smoking campaigns got underway, with studies clearly showing that the habit can lead to diseases like lung cancer. Along the way, research also showed the connection between smoking and heart disease. In recent years, a new campaign has gotten underway to promote another bad habit that could lead to premature death. Unfortunately, it's a habit that's shared by millions of Americans — sitting. Whether you're sitting behind a desk, in front of the television, or anywhere else, the simple act of sitting for hours on end could be shaving years off your life, according to research. Numerous media outlets have been reporting on the deadly effects of sitting. According to a study published by the American Heart Association, people who don't move enough and sit for five hours or more each day have double the risk of heart failure. And other studies show that the vast majority of Americans are sitting anywhere from 7 hours to 15 hours a day. Take this test by JustStand.org to see how you measure up. Are you sitting way too much? Then it's time for a change.
10 Tips for Adding More Movement to Your Work DaySo, how do you get moving for better heart health? Try to break up your days of sitting by following these ten tips:
- Park further away. Whether you're headed to the office, store or a restaurant, park further away than you typically would so that you can get in more steps.
- Take the stairs. Skip the elevators and escalators.
- Invite your coworkers to a walking meeting.
- Walk after lunch or dinner.
- Ask your boss for an adjustable desk that can convert to a standing desk.
- Get out there and dance, whether at a dance club or in the privacy of your bedroom.
- Set a timer to remind yourself to stand up and walk.
- Take a walking break instead of a smoking break.
- Get up from your desk to deliver a message to a coworker instead of using email.
- Stand up to get a drink of water every hour or two.