It’s true. Sitting down all day is slowly killing me softly, and it might be killing you, too.
Sorry to be a Negative Nancy and get all Debbie Downer on you, but I have been reading an increasing amount of articles lately on sitting all day and what exactly it is doing to your body. Maybe some of you have even seen this cartoon…
I’m not going to post the whole thing, but you can click on that pic if you would like to view it.
I have known that sitting is bad for you for a while, but it came to a head for me yesterday. There is a blog I have been reading lately called The Art of Manliness (I know, I’m not a man. Ando thinks it’s funny that I read it, like I may find out all of his he-man secrets ;)), and though I am not looking for tips on growing a bad-ass beard like this fine chap’s…
(Found that man in a bar a few years ago, obv had to get a pic with him)
The Art of Manliness does have some good articles, specifically in the Family/Relationships section. I definitely recommend checking it out, even if you are a gal like moi.
Anyway, yesterday I read an article on there about the comeback of standing desks, and it reiterated how absolutely terrible sitting is for you. This was the clincher for me:
When you sit, the electrical activity in your muscles flat lines, and your body uses very little energy. Powering down your body like that for long periods of time leads to a cascade of negative effects. Your heart rate, calorie burn, insulin effectiveness, and levels of good cholesterol all drop. Your body also stops producing lipoprotein lipase and other molecules that are only released when you flex your muscles, such as when you are standing and walking. These molecules play an important role in processing fats and sugars; without them, your metabolism suffers.
The other scary point was that exercising does not counteract this. Just like you can’t eat a few double QP-eezies with cheezies and then eat a bunch of carrots and think you’re all good and healthy, you can’t sit around all day, and then run like a maniac for an hour and call yourself active (which is what I have been doing, haha).
I sit all day long at work. From 8:30 to 4, Monday to Friday, my office is a sit-fest. Sure, I am out fairly often at events (which I am grateful for), and I am standing then, but the majority of the time, I’m sitting. Short of getting a stand-up desk, there’s really nothing I can do about this. I have to be sitting at my desk to do work, so if I was standing around all day, I’d be pretty unproductive.
I have learned a few tricks though.
- Drink lots of water.
(Recycled pic from yesterday)
This has been pretty key for me lately. Not only do I have to get up and refill my water bottle many times throughout the day, but lots and lots of water = lots of bathroom breaks. To get to the bathroom, I need to stand and actually walk there.
- Eat lots of (healthy) snacks
This is easy for me as well, since I am a constant snacker. I keep my snacks in my work’s lunch/storage room, so I have to get up to get them.
- Get up and talk to your coworkers
I have four coworkers in my office. We all have our own office off of our main suite (which is pretty sweet). Our offices are all very close together, and our walls are pretty thin, so I could ask any of them for something while still sitting lazily at my desk. I have been guilty of yelling at my boss from my chair to tell him something. I have also been guilty in the past of picking up the phone to talk to a coworker whose office is right next to mine. No more.
Now if I need to talk to someone, I make it a point to get up and physically go over to their office.
- Stand while talking on the phone
My coworker Mike is always doing this. I always see him pacing around his office while he’s on the phone, and I used to make fun of him (to his face, so it’s okay). Now I get it!
It gets me up and moving!
- Take your breaks
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I am not a big break taker. Even at lunch, I usually sit and eat at my desk. We have a Druxy’s and a convenience store downstairs, and Tim Hortons is a two minute walk from my building, so now I make it a point to walk somewhere, even if I don’t leave my building. Mid-day iced coffees from Timmy HoHo’s have been a sweet part of this deal.
Or sometimes I will go and visit one of the other sport organizations in my building, just to say heyyyy-o.
Well I realize not everyone has activities going on at their work at lunchtime, but if you do, take advantage! If I hear of any event going on, I am THERE! Standing.
That’s all I really got… Do you have any tips to combat the lethal sitting?
Enough of that negativeness, let’s talk about something exciting. Like EATING.
Let’s talk about salad beasts in particular.
Today’s lunch was a homemade salad beast consisting of baby romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, walnuts, craisins, and goat cheese topped with light Italian dressing.
The goat cheese, walnut and craisins combo I think is a new fave of mine. I love that the goat cheese gets all creamy when you shake it up! There were so many different flavours happening in this salad, and I was a big fan of them all.
And alright, here’s dinner as well…
A scrambled egg and salsa wrap! I scrambled up two eggs before adding salsa and a sprinkle of cheese and wrapping it up. It was a very quick and easy dinner, and it was also just what I was in the mood for. Some sliced green pepper on the side squeezed in mah veggies!
Annnnd now I have been sitting for a while writing this, so I am off to get standing. I’m going to unfortunately not counteract my sitting with a run!
Have a great evening! Hooray for Friday tomorrow! 😀