Get Off Your Butt!

desk stretch

We're all aware that exercising regularly leads to better overall health, but mounting evidence is now showing that sitting for too long can be detrimental to your health, even if you exercise regularly. While that unwelcoming news is disappointing to many of us, there is still hope. First, let's talk about the health risks involved in sitting for too long.

According to WebMD, long periods of sitting down, even in people who exercise, are associated with larger waist circumferences, lower levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol, higher levels of C-reactive protein (which is an important marker of inflammation) and higher levels of triglycerides (blood fats). None of that is good news for your heart! The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says that a waistline over 35 inches is high-risk.

The reason that sitting for prolonged periods of time is bad for you is because the lack of muscle contraction caused by sitting decreases blood flow through your body, thereby reducing the efficiency of biological processes. Getting your blood pumping throughout your entire body is easily achieved by walking around for a few minutes. (via Dr. Mercola)

>> Read more: Desk Stretches for the Office Mama

The more breaks you take, the smaller your waistline and lower the levels of C-reactive proteins will be. Whether those breaks consist of getting up from your desk to take a phone call, walking to see a colleague instead of calling or emailing, or taking a walk around the block during your lunch break, it's important to get up from your desk during the day! Physical activity is essential to protect your cardiovascular health. You could even initiate new office policy, like centralizing garbage cans and printers so you have to get up and walk to them. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, drink lots of water at your desk so you're forced to get up and go to the bathroom! That way, you'll be getting your recommended 64 ounces of water a day and you won't be at such high risk for the above symptoms.


>> Read more: 5 Ways to Keep Exercise on the Brain at Work

How do you stay active at work? Tell us how you get off your butt in the comments below!