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Don’t Let Sitting Keep You Down


Over the last few years, you may have started to notice headlines suggesting that sitting is the new smoking. But new research published this June by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is giving the public even more pause: The findings show that prolonged sitting (i.e. approximately 8 to 10 hours daily) not only increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, but is also linked to certain cancers. The negative effects of sitting can even impact people who otherwise meet current physical activity guidelines, such as regular runners and avid gym-goers. In other words, it’s possible to be an active couch potato.

Compounding the issue is that other harmful habits, like poor eating and little exercise, are also associated with a sedentary lifestyle. This is especially relevant at the office, where it’s (unfortunately) the norm to be tethered to a desk all day. Either way, there are ways to counteract the risky business of prolonged sitting — here are five to try:

1. Stand up at least once every hour. Even better, use a standing or treadmill desk instead of office chairs.

2. Incorporate mini workouts throughout the day like arm rolls or desk push-ups to boost circulation and muscle tone.

3. Drink plenty of water and have smart office snacks handy.

4. Never underestimate the power of walking: Where and when possible, take longer and more frequent routes around the office, especially up stairs and during longer breaks like lunch. It may sound counterintuitive, but stepping away from the desk and getting a little exercise could actually increase cognitive function and work performance thanks to a welcome uptick in blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

5. Always practice proper posture, especially when sitting, which will help reduce tension in your neck, shoulders, and lower back. And for added relief from slouching, use these stretches as much as possible. (Psst: Don’t be afraid to employ these tactics at home, too!)

Find more information on how Independence Blue Cross can be a part of your plan for health and wellness.


Sponsor content is created for IBX by Philadelphia magazine as a marketing collaboration with IBX. This material is intended for reference and information only and should not be used in place of advice from a doctor or suitable qualified healthcare professional.