How to Combat “Excessive Sitting”

I want to apologize for the long delay in continuing our discussion about the health risks of excessive sitting.  A while back, I detailed the risks: at least 35 diseases linked to sitting, from cancer and heart disease to diabetes and osteoporosis.  More on the hazards and solutions in a moment, but first let me explain the long delay.

My friend and partner, Olivia Weinstein, and I have been working feverishly the past several months on our workout and nutrition guide, PreGame Fit .  The guide, due for formal launch later this year, outlines my 12-week workout plan that includes more than one hundred research -based strength and cardio exercises.  None exceed 30 minutes. Most can be performed in the comfort of your home.  The nutrition plan, developed by Olivia, is a common-sense, no-diet approach, healthy, affordable, and easy to follow.  I can’t wait to share it with you all!!

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Now, back to America’s deadly embrace of the sedentary life.  As I pointed out in my last post, a recent study in the Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity reported that the average American sits nine hours a day.  That amount, according to the researchers, can shorten our lives by as much as 20 percent.

Two recent studies outline strategies to combat excessive sitting.  One, by an international panel of experts published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine said we should get a combined two to four hours of standing and light activity throughout our otherwise sedentary day ( they base their study on an 8-hour workday).

Another study is more precise.  Cornell University ergonomics professor Alan Hedge broke the workday into 30 minute segments.  During each half-hour, he says, sit for 20 minutes, stand for eight, and move and stretch for two.

That amount of activity should prevent physiological changes in the body.  Those changes can trigger genetic factors linked to inflammation and chronic conditions such the aforementioned cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Okay, that that takes care of daytime.  What about evenings, when we want to relax after our long day of sitting (just kidding!)  That will have to wait.  I’ve been sitting and writing this for 20 minutes.  Time to stand and move for ten.  Be back with more shortly.  I promise.

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