chair kick

Declare War on the Chair & Move Your Body More

In recent years, research has highlighted the detrimental effects of prolonged sitting and sedentary behavior on our health. Studies have shown a strong association between sedentary behavior and harmful changes in the body, including increased fat content, higher levels of fats in the blood, elevated blood glucose, and increased insulin resistance. These changes can lead to inflammation, which is associated with accelerated aging and a higher risk of developing diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

One of the key findings is that the longer we sit, the fewer muscle contractions we make, leading to reduced breakdown of fats and glucose, as well as decreased insulin secretion. This means that even if we engage in regular exercise, prolonged sitting can still have detrimental effects on our health. Additionally, sedentary behavior has been linked to increased inflammation in the body, which can further accelerate the aging process and increase the risk of developing chronic diseases.

To combat the negative effects of sedentary behavior, it’s important to take proactive steps to stay active throughout the day. Here are some actionable tips to help you reduce your sitting time and improve your overall health:

  1. Monitor Your Sitting Time: Start by monitoring how many hours you spend sitting each day. Use a stopwatch to track your sitting time on a typical weekday and weekend day. This will give you a baseline to work from and help you set goals for reducing your sitting time.
  2. Set Realistic Goals: Aim to reduce your sitting time by 20% over the next four weeks. Set small, achievable goals that you can gradually increase over time. For example, start by standing up for five minutes every hour, then gradually increase to 10 minutes every hour.
  3. Stand Whenever Possible: Whenever you have the option, choose to stand instead of sitting. For example, stand while talking on the phone, standing desk, or taking breaks.
  4. Take Regular Movement Breaks: Set a timer to remind yourself to take a 10-minute movement break every 45 to 50 minutes. Use this time to walk around, stretch, or do some light exercises.
  5. Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Daily Routine: Find ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, such as walking or biking to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing household chores.
  6. Make it Enjoyable: Incorporate activities that you enjoy into your movement breaks, such as chatting with a colleague or listening to music. This will make it easier to stick to your new routine.
  7. Stay Consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to reducing sedentary behavior. Make it a habit to move regularly throughout the day, even on days when you don’t feel like it.

By taking proactive steps to reduce your sitting time and increase your physical activity, you can improve your overall health and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases. Remember, it’s the small, daily changes that add up to make a big difference in your health over time. So, declare war on the chair and start moving more today!

P.S. For more actionable advice on how to improve your brain health I found the book Supercharge your brain by James Goodwin Ph.D. to be an amazing resource. Read it and you can thank me later.