Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sitting for long periods of time is the cause of 4% of deaths worldwide -- ScienceDaily

Sitting for long periods of time is the cause of 4% of deaths worldwide -- ScienceDaily:

The next time you wrap up your work day and realize you've been sitting in front of the computer for almost eight straight hours, maybe you won't feel so proud of yourself. A new study, conducted in 54 countries around the world, declares that 3.8% of all deaths are due to the fact that society spends more than three hours a day sitting down.

Un-Sit Your Life

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Walk and Talk: Walking Meetings Gain Popularity

Two to three people talking as they do laps of office hallways may get to be a more common sight. Such walking meetings in the workplace are shown to have “physical and mental benefits of being more mobile at work.”

Benefits include:
• Accruing steps to reach a goal on wearable technology such as FitBit.
  • Expending more calories (15 minutes of walking burns 56 calories while sitting at a laptop expends 20 and standing 22)
  • Walking meeting participants are less likely to miss work for health reasons.
  • “… walking for as little as 15 minutes a day can add up to 3 years to life expectancy.”
  • Spurring more ideas: “Creative output increases by an average of 60% when people are walking …”
  • People are more relaxed and generate more ideas.

Tips for walking meetings include:
  • Meet with 2 or 3 people
  • Set a time, 30 minutes or less
  • Go at comfortable speed
  • Inform the boss
  • Walk in a park, outdoors or around the office.

Are there other times you could walk during the workday? “Meetings, phone calls and email have come to consume more than 90% of the working time of managers and some other workers, such as consultants. Many of these meetings and calls could be conducted while walking, experts say.”

New businesses are springing up to combat sedentary behavior in the workplace such as StepJockey of London which promotes use of stairs for businesses in large office buildings.

Bachman, Rachel, “The Genius of a Walk-and-Talk,” Wall Street Journal, September 13, 2016, p. D1

Un-Sit Your Life

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Office Walk-and-Talk Really Works - WSJ

The Office Walk-and-Talk Really Works - WSJ: The Office Walk-and-Talk Really Works

The health benefits are real for people who regularly take walking meetings at working

Benefits of Walking: Why The Greatest Minds Take Long Walks

Benefits of Walking: Why The Greatest Minds Take Long Walks: Why Everyone From Beethoven, Goethe, Dickens, Darwin To Steve Jobs Took Long Walks and Why You Should Too

One day, when Marc Andreessen, the money man behind such tech giants as Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga, was out driving around his home in Palo Alto, California, he nearly hit a crazy old man crossing the street.

Looking back at the fool he had nearly run over he noticed the trademark blue jeans and black turtle neck. “Oh my god! I almost hit Steve Jobs!” he thought to himself.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Reflexology Mat Walking: High Intensity Walking

Is there such a thing as high intensity walking, cobblestone reflexology mat walking that produces quicker health results than usual walking? 

First, we note the idea of the high intensity workout. Much has been made recently about the value of high-intensity interval training. The idea is: use intervals of high intensity exercise in a shorter amount of time to get the same results as moderate exercise for a greater amount of time. 

Researchers at McMaster University showed that 10 minutes of cycling with high intensity all-out intervals (three of 20 seconds) sandwiched around regular cycling (2 minutes) equaled the health results of 45 minutes of moderate cycling, achieving results 5 times faster over a 12 week period. Both workouts included a 2-minute warm-up and 3-minute cool down. Insulin sensitivity and cardio respiratory fitness were among measurements compared.

It may just be that reflexology mat walking is a form of high intensity walking. Consider the research. In the well known Oregon Research Institute study, study participants who walked on a cobblestone reflexology mat for 45 minutes 3 times a week for 4 months lowered their diastolic blood pressure by 4.75 mm Hg. more than those who walked the same amount on a flat surface. Other studies have shown that walking 10,000 steps a day for 3 months helped study participants lower their diastolic blood pressure by an average of 8 mm Hg.

We’ve done the numbers: walking on a cobblestone reflexology mat lowers blood pressure more than twice as fast as walking on a flat surface. Cobblestone mat walking: 454 minutes per 1 mm Hg. of lowered diastolic blood pressure. Walking on a flat surface: 1050 minutes per 1 mm Hg. of lowered diastolic blood pressure. (Calculated on estimates that it takes 100 minutes to walk 10,000 steps.)

Un-Sit Your Life

Monday, August 8, 2016

This Job is Killing You — Literally

Now there’s proof. Your sitting job is actually killing you. Or, at least you’re at risk of dying younger.

An increase of up to 60% in risk of dying prematurely is seen in those who sit 8 hours a day on the job and don’t exercise. Those who engaged in moderate exercise (i. e. brisk walking, cycling) for an hour a day overcame the problems of sitting on the job. 

A million people can’t be wrong—or at least that’s how many individuals participated in the 16  studies examined by British researchers to determine the stark information about sitting and early death. 

“Scientists said sedentary lifestyles were now posing as great a threat to public health as smoking, and were causing more deaths than obesity. (Researchers said that globally, more than 5 million deaths a year are linked to physical inactivity – a similar number to lives lost to smoking, and a higher figure than that caused by obesity.)

“They urged anyone spending hours at their desk to change their daily routine to take a five minute break every hour, as well as exercise at lunchtimes and evenings.

“An hour of brisk walking or cycling spread over a day was enough to combat the dangers of eight hours sitting in the office, they said.

“Currently, public health advice in the UK recommends just half this level of activity.
But almost half of women and one third of men fail to achieve even this.”

Another study estimates “physical inactivity costs the global economy $67.5bn (billion) (£51.5bn) per year – the UK equivalent is £1.7bn – comprising $58.8bn in healthcare and $13.7bn in lost productivity.”

“Steven Ward, executive editor of UK Active, urged employers to do more to encourage workers to be more active during the working day.

“He also urged workers to do all they could to find time to get moving. 

“‘This report is showing that inactivity kills,’” he said. “‘When we realised (sic) this about smoking we tackled it – we need to do the same about our office culture.’”

“He called for changes in tax breaks, to encourage office workers to be more active, by providing free gym membership, or activity trackers, in the same way that (UK’s) Cycle to Work schemes let employers loan out bicycles as a tax-free benefit.”

A previous study addressed the impact on longevity of sitting during time off, time spent watching television. An hour of television viewing shortens one’s life by 22 minutes—the same amount as if one had smoked two cigarettes. Each hour reduces ones life by 1.8 years for women and 1.5 years for men. These are average numbers from a study about television viewing habits and longevity collected from 8,800 Australian adults over 6 years. The model was created by researchers Lennert Veerman et al. of the University of Queensland. “Compared with persons who watch no TV, those who spend a lifetime average of 6 h/day (hours per day) watching TV can expect to live 4.8 years less.” At the most extreme, those who watch the most television reduce their lives by 44 minutes for each hour of viewing for a total of up to 10.4 years in comparison to those who watch no television.