Get up and move! We have all seen the commercials and advertisements put out by fitness trackers, the NFL 60 program as well as many other organizations inspiring individuals to get up and move. Well do it! The truth is Americans are becoming more and more sedentary in their lifestyles and for a lack of better words becoming couch potatoes.
Being sedentary or sitting for long periods of time either at your desk at work, in front of a computer, the television, playing video games or just simply sitting on your couch can lead to a list of health issues as time goes on. Working in the colligate setting, I constantly hear students talking about playing video games all night or working on a paper for hours at a time and then they complain about how their neck hurts or their shoulders and or backs are bothering them. Research performed by the American College of Physicians, 40% of people who suffer from back issues tend to spend more time seated in front of a screen. The problem with this is that as technology continues to advance, more and more jobs are becoming computerized, placing more employees behind a screen all day.
What can we do to aid in this epidemic? There are many ways to get up and move each day that will leave you feeling better and reduce the effects from being behind a desk all day. If possible, take a 10-minute walk during your lunch break. Powerlifter Mark Bell has been encouraging individuals to take a 10-minute walk each day through his Instagram posts every day. If you have a lunch break and can take advantage of the time away from your desk do it! Hold walking meetings if a meeting does not require a desk, computer or other technology. Coworkers might think you are crazy, but they will thank you later. Another way to become more conscientious about sitting too long is to limit your screen time after work. Too many people leave work to go home to just sit back down in front of their personal computer or television and do not move until they go to bed. Other simple ways to get moving are making your desk at work a stand up desk, parking further away in the parking lot from a store, taking the stairs when possible, or simply standing at the counter with family and or friends instead of slouching in a chair.
Most importantly being active can improve ones mood and that is contagious to others.
Parents this is one example you should be setting for your children. Childhood obesity remains an American epidemic. One main cause of this is that children are not as active and “playing” as often as they used to and should be. They are parked in front of their video game screen, tablet or the worst their cell phone that they probably shouldn’t have (I won’t get into that topic). If children see their parents lounging all day long they are more likely to do the same. Parents, if you are active and encourage your children to get up and move with you, you can kill two birds with one stone. You will be up and moving yourself as well as having a positive impact on your child’s health and well-being.
Being active has a long list of benefits for the human body. It can aid in reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. It also aids in improving muscle and bone health, energy levels as well as improving sleep. Most importantly being active can improve ones mood and that is contagious to others. Many institutions have been using the quote “exercise as medicine” and it’s true! Get up, get outside and move. Your body will thank you!
mood, muscle and bone health, 10 minute walk