Sitting Is the New “Smoking”?

Check out the attached infographic.  While a bit alarmist (do they have to literally go to the extreme of “you will DIE”?) it really does make you think. I might post this on the wall in front of my office computer as a reminder…

Lately I’ve been hearing phrases like “sitting is the new smoking”.  I shouldn’t have to explain the what’s being implied in that statement.

Over the last few decades, I’ve spent a good deal of my time sitting in front of computers.  While the nice salary has afforded be some creature comforts, the constant sitting has not.  Thankfully, I’ve always been pretty active at night and on the weekends going to the gym, taking yoga, doing the occasional 5k, cycling, snowboarding, etc.  But in the past few years I’ve also been trying to make some lifestyle changes that seem like effortless rituals sprinkled into my daily routine:

  • Taking the train to work and getting off a stop early to walk an extra 30 minutes.  I always take the stairs up from the underground train and not the escalator.
  • Anytime I have an errand, I look for a place a mile or so from my office and walk to and from there
  • I make myself walk numerous times during the workday to the water cooler or bathroom that’s farthest away and downstairs from my desk
  • I take the 3 flights of stairs, EVERY time, up to the office from the lobby.  My coworkers always laugh at me, but why stand and wait 2 minutes for the elevator only to go 3 flights?  I’m already sitting at my desk by the time the elevator doors open.
  • I try to leave work every chance I get to eat lunch.  Ideally, this will be at a place that’s a 10 minute walk away or more.  While this does indulge my wallet, I do enjoy walking somewhere and eating outside if the weather is nice. Eating at your desk is not good hygienically or psychologically. Do you even remember what you wolfed down at all while you’re answering emails?
  • 5 minute yoga breaks.  I do several breaks throughout the day to look away from the computer and stretch.  It can be some simple office chair yoga moves right at my desk or I pop into our yoga room (yes we have the luxury of having one!!!) to do a bit of deep breathing and down dogs, or even 20 quick pushups. These breaks really help restart my brain, too.

A healthy life is about a healthy lifestyle, and a constant awareness of regular, daily opportunities to do something healthy.

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

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