It’s always good to hear from you. You always go to the heart of the matter and in such an entertaining way. We’ve answered your question below, what we do once we leave the comfort of the couch.
But we’d like to address your unasked question: why leave my comfy couch? It really strikes at what’s important: motivation to get outside the comfy couch zone. So, here’s our stories.
Why I left my comfy couch (Barbara)
The short answer is: I’ve always been an active pursuer of good things for my health, following a good diet, exercising and doing reflexology. I want a good quality of life both now and in the future. I want to avoid all sorts of dread diseases.
I read the studies about prolonged sitting. I was interested. I was concerned. I was alarmed. My interest, concern and alarm were both professional and personal. Here were these results (see below) and bad health things were happening because, from my professional perspective, people weren’t getting enough pressure applied to their feet as they sat too much. I’ll skip the professional concern—people should know about this—and go straight to what motivates me personally because I think that’s what you’re really asking here.
In reaching the decision to leave my comfy couch, I realized I wasn’t covering all my bases in seeking good health. I discovered (1) sitting too much is related to risk for many dread diseases and (2) diet and exercise doesn’t overcome the negative impact of sitting. Once Kevin started losing weight (see below), I had the satisfaction of knowing I was on the right track to being the healthiest I could be. Ok, concern for physical appearance is there too. I’ve maintained my weight and sitting-too-much exercises are allowing me to reclaim my figure.
Sitting too much is linked to increased risk for:
obesity, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression, cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s, erectile dysfunction, decrease in longevity, musculoskeletal pain, falls and walking stability in the elderly, infertility, low sperm count, cancer (breast (21%), colon (30%), lung (54%), uterine (66%) as well as implications for risk of endometrial, ovarian, and prostate cancers)
Leaving the comfy couch
Here’s what we done when we leave the comfy couch as taken from Un-sit Your Life.
For Kevin un-sitting his life originally included a standing work station for some working hours and a standing station for use during the evening while watching television and using his IPad. He placed a reflexology mat underfoot at these times. Kevin was seldom standing still, preferring to shift from foot to foot. He usually stood on his mats for one and a half hours per evening. Since then he’s revised his program and is wearing a tracker to measure 12,000 or more steps a day. He takes a walk each morning, bounce-steps on a mini trampoline for 15 minutes after meals, and takes breaks from sitting every hour. Kevin prefers to use a timer to time his activities.
When Barbara’s sitting at the computer during the day, her feet are on a vibrating foot platform. She takes 2 minute breaks in sitting every 15 or 20 minutes, timed by the foot platform turning itself off. A two minute break is timed by noting 200 steps on the VivoFit. She walks on a reflexology mat for 15 minutes after meals timed by casually noticing the time on the clock. In the evening, the television may be on but while she’s walking on a reflexology mat after dinner and, when seated in a rocking chair, an electric foot roller or vibrating foot platform is underfoot. She’s usually reading and frequently applies hands-on foot and hand reflexology techniques. Two-minute breaks continue through the evening. Timing two hours more (of up and about activity) throughout the day is done by noting steps on the wearable fitness tracker. By the end of the day, she’s taken 12,000 to 14,000 steps measured on the tracker. To compensate for years of sitting, she follows hip flexor exercises.