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Is sitting really the new smoking?

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

It's phrase we're starting to hear quite often, but why? In an article published by the Harvard Business Review, we sit for a reported 9.3 hours on average per day. As soon as you sit down, calorie burning drops to 1 per minute, enzymes that help break down fat drop 90% and good cholesterol drops 20%. You're twice as likely to develop a cardiovascular disease if you have a sitting job over a standing job. And arteriosclerosis and cancer (both linked to smoking) are now also linked with too much sitting.

But there's good news; reforming habits to sit less is much easier than quitting smoking. With some simple changes, you can make a profound impact on the health outcomes of long days at your desk. Here's how:

  1. Set a reminder to get up from your desk every 30 minutes - go and get some water, do a loop round the office or just stretch out your back.

  2. Think about good posture when you sit - sitting actively doesn't just improve physical health, it improves your mental fitness too.

  3. Move at lunchtime - a quick walk or stroll or a stretch at your desk makes all the difference - try one of our classes to get you going.

  4. When possible, have walking meetings with your colleagues.

  5. Try a standing desk, or just take the opportunity to stand whenever you can (when you're on the phone or chatting with a colleague for example).

Whenever you can, aim for 60-minutes of activity per day. And if you have kids, get them involved too; why not try a walk to earn screen time, family yoga or a kitchen disco?


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