More than 10 hours of sedentary time a day increases the risk of dementia, according to the study

OK, I admit it. Exercising sucks. I said it there, and I’m not alone. As many as 40% of Americans who would rather sit in the water than exercise follow the advice of the late comedian Joan Rivers, who said: I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bow down, He would have put diamonds on the ground. Even if you don’t exercise, growing evidence shows that sitting too much is one of the biggest health hazards. Statistics show that half of American adults spend more than 9.5 hours a day sitting, including more than 80% of their free time in a car, at a desk or in front of a screen.

Don’t park it too long

A survey of 2,000 remote and hybrid workers found that 60% of employees say they reduce their mobility by more than 50% by working remotely. The average remote worker takes just 16 steps from bed to their workstation. In a typical remote work day, one in three workers sit in their work chairs all day and 63% walk just to go to the bathroom or kitchen. Meanwhile, 24% of remote workers never leave their homes. Almost half of remote workers estimate they take fewer than 1,000 steps during work hours, despite the 8,000 steps recommended by health experts per day. And 50% report increased lower back pain, 48% shoulder pain and 52% eye strain.

What about this picture? The human body was not designed to sit for long periods of time. Prolonged sitting reduces blood and oxygen flow, causes weight gain and leads to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Studies also show that being a desk potato is just as bad as smoking and actually reduces ‘life expectancy, which puts you at 80% more risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. In addition, it increases the risk of dementia for adults over 60 who are sedentary for more than 10 hours a day, not to mention that it truncates their career path.

According to a study by the American Cancer Society, women who sat for more than six hours a day were 34% more likely to die than those who were more active. The same figure for men was 18%. On the other hand, the American College of Sports Medicine reports that workers who exercise at least 45 minutes a week take between 25 and 50% fewer sick days. And British scientists report that middle-aged people who exercise at least twice a week are 60% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than couch potatoes. So there are things working here.

Movement is the lotion

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends physical activity both during leisure time and at work to improve and maintain good health and well-being. Regular exercise reduces the risk of developing anxiety by almost 60%. If you don’t have time to hit the gym for a rigorous workout, practice gentle forms of exercise between appointments at your desk. Experts say just standing at your desk instead of sitting can help. Simply not sitting gives you the benefits of exercise. Here are some examples of how you can get moving and improve your mental and physical health.

1- Move to your desktop. Just moving can reduce the risk of sudden cardiac arrest by 92%. Take a few seconds to get high. Feel the stretch as you lengthen your body and notice where you hold tension and then release it. Shake the part of your body where you feel tension. As you continue to stretch, bring your attention to each part of your body that has been held tight. Bend over and touch your toes and feel that stretch letting the tension in your body evaporate. Consider taking short five-minute walks outside on a nice day or going up and down stairs in bad weather.

2- Take the stairs. Research shows that climbing four flights of stairs in less than a minute results in good heart health. So instead of taking the elevator to the office, get a few minutes of exercise by walking up and down the stairs every day.

3- Take a wonderful walk. Studies show that short, brisk nature walks reduce work stress, increase and maintain energy levels, and recalibrate a fatigued brain. And better performance after a walk in green spaces or a park than a walk on a noisy city street. Exposure to a green space reduces anxiety and rumination and improves depression. Instead of eating lunch at your desk, find a park, arboretum, or natural setting to eat.

4- Practice the 20-20-20 rule. Set an alarm or an early pop-up for every 20 minutes when you’re working in front of a screen as a reminder to get up from your workstation. It takes 20 seconds for your eyes to fully relax. Every 20 minutes for 20 seconds walk around the room, up and down some stairs, or move to look out a window, maybe a tree, a squirrel, or some aspect of nature.

5- Practice chair yoga between meetings directly at your desk. Sit in your chair and inhale and raise your arms to the ceiling. Allow your shoulder blades to slide down your back as you lift your hand with your fingertips. Fix your sitting bones in your seat and rise from there. Place your left hand on your right knee and your right arm on the back of the chair. Stretch lightly for 60 seconds. Place your right hand on your left knee with your left arm on the back of the chair for another 60 seconds. After three to five minutes, you’ll notice renewed energy and mental clarity, and you’re ready to get back into the game.

6- Practice high-intensity interval training. During your lunch hour or after work, throw on your workout clothes and head to the gym to lift weights or jog around the block to let off some steam. According to research, high-intensity interval training strengthens the heart even more than moderate exercise. You’ll return to your desk with your batteries recharged, your energy renewed and your head cleared.

So get moving. Standing, walking, running, dancing, stretching or bending. The key to maintaining health and longevity at work is not in the office desk chair or La-Z-Boy. It’s on your StairMaster, bathing suit or running shoes.

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