Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Monday February 24, 2014

Written By: Neva Avery, MS, Personal Trainer

Many of us begin a fitness routine in an effort to decrease our risk of heart disease, lift our mood, lose inches in our waist and decrease blood pressure. Unfortunately, following up that workout by being sedentary for extended periods of time increases your risk for all of those same factors. Recent findings indicate that a one hour sweat session, regardless of how intense, just may not be enough for good health. According to Mayo Clinic endocrinologist/obesity expert James Levine, “being sedentary for nine hours a day at the office is bad for your health whether you go home and watch television afterwards or hit the gym. It is bad whether you are morbidly obese or marathon-runner thin. It appears that what is critical and maybe even more important than going to the gym, is breaking up that sitting time.”

So in order to take your healthy lifestyle one step further, work on increasing your activity outside of the Wellness Center. One of the best ways to increase your daily activity is to see how much you’re actually moving. Sometimes we don’t even realize how little we’re moving until we get the data. I’m a huge fan of activity trackers because they will give you feedback on your daily activity as well as your workouts.  You can simply monitor steps with a pedometer or if wanting more details there are devices that also track calories burned, flights of stairs climbed, distance travelled and more. Seeing what you are doing is one of the best motivators! Below are a few activity trackers to help you monitor your progress. Choose the best tool for you based on what information you want to track.

Fitbit Flex, Force, One or Zip  http://www.fitbit.com/comparison/trackers 

FitLinxx Pebble  http://www.fitlinxx.net/pebble-activity-monitor.htm This will add to your current FitLinxx capabilities at the Wellness Center and online.

Omron HJ-112 Pocket Pedometer  www.amazon.com or   www.walmart.com

So, is sitting the new smoking? Well, it may not be quite as detrimental as smoking but for extended periods of time, sitting does increase many health risks. Move a little more each day toward better health and longevity!