Sitting for long periods of time increases your risk of developing many serious health problems like heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, and some cancers. Many health care providers agree, sitting is the new smoking. This means that sitting all day everyday can be as dangerous to your health as smoking!
Even if you do exercise on a regular basis, you are still probably sitting too much every day. Many people start the day off sitting in their car on their commute to work, then sit at a desk in front of a computer, and then sit in front of a TV in the evenings. Too much sitting!
Instead, find ways each day to take an energy break. Schedule movement throughout your day, on top of your regular exercise sessions, to increase your activity and decrease the time you spend sitting in a chair.
NEAT, or Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, is the amount of activity you do each day, on top of your regular exercise sessions. Activities like grocery shopping, vacuuming, and parking your car farther away from the store entrance, are all examples of calorie burning activities that can increase your movement every day.
Increasing these activities can help you lose weight, reduce your risk of long-term health problems and get you out of your chair. Within 30 seconds your body benefits from movement. It is worth it.
Try wearing a pedometer each day to count the number of steps you take. Then each day, find ways to increase that number. Walk to the printer at work. Have a walking meeting with your co-workers. Pace while you talk on the phone. All these steps will add up to better health.
A fitness tracker, usually worn on your wrist, can also help you see how much you are moving each day. And some fitness trackers can help you reach your individual health goals because they help track your exercise sessions as well as your NEAT movements to let you know how well you are doing overall.
Here are a few more ways to increase your activity. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Play with your grandsons. Put on music and dance while you do the dishes. Spend time gardening and pulling out weeds. Sit on an exercise ball at your desk. Be creative. Do what fits into your day and make it fun.
Every 30 minutes do something that makes your body move. You may want to try scheduling NEAT breaks into your day. Set an alarm on your phone or computer that tells you to get up and get moving.
Sitting for long periods of time each day is not good for your health. Your body needs to be moving. Find ways every day to take energy breaks often, you will reach your health goals and feel better for the long term.
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.