Friday, January 3, 2014

Standing Up




For many people today, sitting is a norm. More than ever in human history, sedentary lifestyle is a norm. We do most, even basic things, while sitting down: working (computers, writing), resting (TV, video games), driving... The list is endless.

Irony is, while it tends to be more comfortable for us, it is also not healthy for us - to say the least. Sedentary lifestyle has been linked with premature death (especially in people who sit more than 4 hours a day). Good news is - physical activity reduces all the risks connected with too much sitting (4 hours per week of physical activity would be optimal, but a little bit of extra wouldn't hurt).

Here I won't list what exercises to use, or all the horrible health risks involved with sedentary lifestyle. I will list, however, little ideas and inspiring titbits how to stand up more.

  • If you use public transportation, do not sit down. Think about it as saving a seat for someone who is actually better off siting down (like an elderly person). 
  • Waiting for a friend? Don't sit on a nearby bench. Take a short stroll around. If the friend is late, once he or she shows up, simply say you just got there - spare them some stress.
  • For those really into the art of standing up, use one of those stand up desks for your computer. That alone should de-sit you for quite a bit.
  • If you stand for an hour as opposed to sitting for an hour, you'll spend around 12 to 30 calories more. Every little bit counts, and spending around 60 calories practically equals to a nice low-intensity activity on treadmill.
  • A good deal of activities that are traditionally done sitting down (eating, reading etc.) can easily be done while standing up. Just make sure you're not the only one doing this with other people around. It might get... weird.
  • Standing up is a sure way to feel more energy throughout the day.
Caveat: don't over do it. You won't be doing your veins any favor you stand too much. The point is to find a good balance between sitting and standing. Simple comparison between your sitting time vs. your standing time will tell you which one is needs adjusting.


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