Dear Fitness Buff, Your Desk Job is Still Killing You

Everyone you know has always been telling you that you should exercise more because of its many health benefits.  So, maybe you do hit the gym/fitness class/yoga/pilates/run/walk the dog more often.  Well, what they really ought to have been telling you is the corollary of that: decrease the time you spend being sedentary.  The problem is, most of us spend 8 hours a day slaving away at our desks.

Some researchers, Hamilton, Healy, Dunstan, Zderic, and Owen (2008) reviewed a bunch of literature that suggests we are all sitting too much, and exercising too little.  While you should be meeting and/or exceeding the recommendations from the new Canadian Physical Activity <a href="(http://www.csep.ca/CMFiles/Guidelines/CSEP-InfoSheets-adults-ENG.pdf)”>Guidelines, you should also be thinking about reducing the amount of time you spend being sedentary.  An Australian study showed that among adults who were meeting the physical activity guidelines (same as ours – 150 mins of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week), there was a significant association between increased time spent watching television and increased risk of metabolic syndrome (Healy, Dunstan, & Salmon, 2008).

What this means for you: Please continue getting your daily physical activity in, but be aware that your sitting time can’t be compensated for.

Tips:

  • During your lunch break, take a walk and eat your lunch somewhere other than in your office
  • Get up, stretch, and walk a few steps whenever you can sneak in a short break
  • Use active transportation: walk to work, bike to work, walk up the escalator instead of standing after you get off the LRT, park somewhere cheaper and walk the rest of the way to work
  • If you want to watch TV at home, plan to make use of your elliptical/treadmill/stationary bike/whatever while you watch TV

I’m sure there are other wonderful ideas you can think of to minimize the time you have to spend sitting!

—–

This feature post is brought to you by Jen, a Dean’s List student finishing up her Kinesiology degree at the U of A this summer and starting her Master’s in Occupational Therapy this September at just 20 years old.  In her spare time, she coaches competitive rhythmic gymnastics, and regularly struggles to choose between her Facebook&Twitter addiction and being active.  She is also a good friend of L&S from Two and the City.  Follow her at her new blog: http://reJENerate.tumblr.com 

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  1. […] Dear Fitness Buff, Your Desk Job is Still Killing You (twoandthecity.com) […]

  2. […] guest posted on 2ATC, ykgirl wrote about Will and Kate in Yellowknife and reJenerate wrote about mainting a healthy lifestyle despite being tied to a desk 8 hours per day.  Check them […]



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