Archive for the tag - sit

Every Hour of Television Trims 22 Minutes from Your Life.

wasted lifeHow many hours a day do you spend watching television? According to 2010 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American 15 years of age or older spends 2.7 hours daily. 2009 data from Nielsen, however, suggests that the real number might be closer to 5 hours.

A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that each hour spent watching television shaves 22 minutes off of your life expectancy. In other words, if you watch television 5 hours daily for a year, then your life expectancy is shortened by nearly a month. It’s a sobering statistic and yet another study to find a link between sitting and mortality.

For the study, which aimed to quantify the link between television viewing mortality, researchers created a “life table model” that combined data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. Based on the data, researchers concluded that very single hour of television viewed after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.

To put things in perspective, one hour of television viewing has the same impact on life expectancy as smoking two cigarettes.

The bottom line: It’s clear that all of us need to sit less and move more. And the next time you’re watching The Real Housewives, ask yourself, “Is this really worth it?”

How to Sit Less at Work: 7 Tips!

Dear Davey,

I’m an engineer and it means that I spend 6 to 8 hours a day sitting at my desk. You mentioned that sitting has been linked to early death, even for people that exercise. Since I feel so chained to my desk, what are some tips for sitting less at work?


dynaflexballchairHey Alex,

It’s true. Researchers have found a link between sitting and early death – even in otherwise healthy folks who exercise regularly. Our bodies are clearly meant to move.

The good news is that there are a few simple changes that you can make to reduce your daily sit time.

  1. Pace or walk while on the phone. Take calls on your cell phone or wireless headset. Use that time to pace the hallways of your work or even your office/cubicle. If you don’t have much room, simply stand and shift your weight from side to side. It’s better than sitting.
  2. Stand at your computer. If you have a laptop, place it on top of a set of filing cabinets or on an elevated desk. If you’re really committed, you can even purchase a standing desk.
  3. Take the long way. Whether it’s walking to the printer to trekking to the bathroom, take the scenic route. Maybe even opt for a bathroom on a different floor. Whenever you can, sneak in a few extra feet of walking time.
  4. Replace chairs with exercise balls or other exercise equipment. Silly as it sounds, inflatable exercise balls make for great chair alternatives. You can even purchase a wheeled base for the exercise ball. Because exercise balls require balance, your muscles will fire constantly to help keep you stable. They’re also really fun to take bounce breaks on. Alternatively, I’ve seen people use other types of exercise equipment – even stationary bikes or treadmills – as chair alternatives.
  5. Walk to lunch. Instead of eating at your desk, get off your butt and walk to a nearby park or cafeteria. Not only when you help keep your body moving, but the change of scenery can be refreshing and rejuvenating.
  6. Walk more. Call and email less. Instead of communicating over the phone or electronically, opt for face time. Walk to your coworkers’ offices or cubicles if you have a question. While these 30 or 40 second walks may seem insignificant, they add up over time.
  7. Take a five minute break and turn your chair into a workout station. Don’t believe me? Try my 5-minute chair workout.

I hope these tips help cut some of your sit time. And if you have any additional tips, please sure them in the comments below!