There have been a lot of articles lately about the effects of sitting on the body. The conclusion that the majority of these articles come to – not only do we spend too much time sitting, but we also cannot reverse the effects of those hours of sitting with exercise. What you do consistently throughout the day matters just as much as the time you put in at the gym.
A 1999 study by Dr. James Levine controlled the exercises times and calorie intake of the test subjects and then tracked weight and activity over time. Levine found that people who spent more time sitting (on average 2 hours more time) gained weight, while people who were more active in general – they DID NOT spend more time exercising only less time sitting around (which means they were standing or doing “non-exercise” movements – such as light walking).
So today, I want you to try a little experiment. Set a timer for 20 minutes from now. When your timer goes off, get up and walk around for a bit – even just spend a little time standing – you can still work (make phone calls, read documents), but stand up and do it for 3 to 5 minutes. If you have a 7 hour work day, and you spend 5 minutes standing or moving around for every 20 minutes, you’ll be doing just under an hour and a half less sitting – that just about moves you out of the group that’s spending an extra 2 hours a day sitting – and gaining weight! – and into the group that is maintaining – or even losing weight!
Even if weight loss is not your goal, standing up frequently can help your muscles from developing imbalances. Try it out! If you don’t have a timer on your phone, there are several online timers. Leave a comment and let us know how it went!..