Too much sitting is bad for you.
Strong scientific evidence suggests that the seemingly innocent act of sitting - whether while working in front of our computer, driving in our car, or watching television - actually causes a myriad of serious health problems when done in excess. There's back pain, poor posture, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and most recently, premature aging.
Premature Aging From Too Much Sitting
A study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine reveals that older women with a sedentary lifestyle who spend time sitting for more than 10 hours a day have cells that are biologically older by eight years as opposed to women who are more active.
Telomeres naturally shorten and fray out with the aging of cells, but disease and lifestyle factors, such as smoking or a sedentary lifestyle, contribute significantly to speeding up this process, too.
But if you're tied to a 9-to-5 desk job, what can you do?
The study's lead author Aladdin Shadyab recommends exercise and an active lifestyle as a powerful combo to combat the consequences of too much sitting, specifically premature aging.
"Discussions about the benefits of exercise should start when we are young, and physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old," he adds.
How to Fight Aging With Fitness
"Fitness is a youth serum," advises physical therapist and fitness expert Maureen Hagan. "Fitness affects how youthful you look, the way you move, and your ability to do whatever you want, whenever."
Cheat the aging clock with these practical fitness and lifestyle tips:
Reduce Sitting Time At Work
Take a break every 30 minutes and use it to go to the bathroom, get your coffee, or even take a stroll outside. Do stand-up meetings. Instead of emailing, calling, chatting to ask or say something, get up from your desk and walk to your co-worker.
Quit Watching Television
Studies have shown that spending time in front of the television is linked to a more sedentary behavior. Cut back on your viewing time little by little. Watch only your favorite shows and turn it off once it's over. Do not flip the channels to check if there's anything good playing.
Do 60 Minutes of Physical Activity Every Day
A paper published in the Lancet reveals that 60 to 70 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as riding a bike to and from work or walking your dog to the park, can work wonders at reducing the risks of excessive sitting.
Find A Fitness Regimen That'll Inspire You
It's important to also choose an exercise that doesn't feel like a chore for you to encourage consistent compliance on your part. Take your pick from a wide array of workouts and make sure it's something you'd be motivated to do every day. It can be running, yoga, Zumba - whatever rocks your boat.
Track Your Progress
Get yourself a good fitness tracker to monitor your progress. Most fitness trackers today have also let you know about your heart rate, steps taken, sleep activity, and calorie burning action. Get competitive with yourself by comparing daily results.
So stop sitting too much and start moving. But when you do need sit, do it the right way: not leaning forward, with both shoulders relaxed, arms close to your sides, elbows at a 90 degree angle, and with both feet flat on the floor.