Happy Leap Day everyone! Wow, we get an extra day this year, what are you going to do with it? I know what I’d like to do. I’d like to sit here in my housecoat, sip on my latte and work on my current novel in progress. But I’m not. Today I’m going to exercise and believe me, I need it.
As a writer, I spend an awful lot of time sitting at my computer. Sitting and sitting and sitting. Occasionally, I get up for a snack and then I sit some more. I am not alone in this sedentary lifestyle. According to both the Canadian Medical Association and the U.S. Department of health, 2/3 of Canadians and Americans lead a physically inactive lifestyle. We are perched in front of our computers and/or television sets for a total of approximately 56 hours a week (according to a poll by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health).
We all know our bodies have not evolved to be sedentary. Our bodies were created to move and the more we sit, the more our bodies stop functioning properly resulting in such wide ranging problems as chronic back pain, obesity, diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. This issue is becoming increasingly more problematic for women who tend to be less active than men. If you’re interested in checking your risk assessment click here and Desjardin Financial Security will donate $1 to The Heart and Stroke Foundation.
So what’s the solution? A regular exercise routine? Yes, that is beneficial, but guess what? Studies are showing that even if you exercise during the day, but still maintain long periods of inactivity, you aren’t actually avoiding some of the above health risks. In fact, it is becoming more and more apparent that we need to incorporate regular movement into our daily routine. The question is, when you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, how do you do that?
It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Simple things like standing instead of sitting while talking on the phone can make a difference. There’s a great article from Rodale.com called, Get Out of Your Chair if You Want to Live that shows us ‘sitters’ a couple of ways to incorporate movement into our sedentary days. Here’s a quick video from Rodale.com too. How not to sit so much
So I hope you’ll join me this Leap Day and take a moment to stand up and then sit down and then stand up and sit down again. Do this eight times three times a day. It could save your life!