Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Small Change to Combat the Dangers of Being Sedentary

The Small Change to Combat the Dangers of Being Sedentary

Though there have been research published previously on the dangers of being sedentary, a new report by the University of Miami suggests more actions that those in the workforce can take to counteract the negative effects of excessive sitting. This report suggests replacing one regular meeting per week with a walking meeting, allowing employees to have increased high-intensity physical activity and having an overall positive effect on the workers’ health.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Sitting or Standing at Work: The Benefits and Risks

Sitting or Standing at Work: The Benefits and Risks

Pretty good advice. One of the only articles I have seen that both mentions the dangers of prolonged standing and gives advice on how to mitigate it.

"For Standers (eg doctors, family nurse practitioners, teachers, wait staff, hairdressers)
Like with sitting, experts recommend frequent breaks—every 30 minutes or so—to help temper the negative impact of prolonged standing.
  1. Alternate seated and standing work activities, if possible
  1. Change your position frequently
  1. Ensure that your workstation is set to the proper height and distance
  1. Invest in supportive, high-quality footwear
  1. Consider using a saddle chair (combines sitting and standing)"

Friday, June 10, 2016

How Boost Your Metabolism

Stand up. Now walk. You have just had a positive effect on your metabolism. Standing and walking take more energy than sitting. 

The next question is: how much standing and walking are needed to create change in your metabolism? We’ve written an entire book to answer that question but here are some brief ideas.

Take breaks from sitting
Taking breaks from sitting re-sets the five measures of metabolism of the body improving cholesterol, triglycerides, waistline, blood sugar and blood pressure.

How often? In general those who take the most breaks during the day had better biomarkers for metabolism and a lessened risk for heart disease and diabetes. Even standing up for one minute might help lower the risk for metabolic syndrome notes researcher Dr. Geraldine Healy.

Preferable is taking a break in sitting every 20 minutes of two minutes with movement or walking in place. Not only is metabolism elected but so too are muscles, tendons and joints stretched out of place by sitting too much. 

It turns out that the positives and negatives of sitting are not as simple as counting time spent doing it. What one does while sitting is important too. Research suggests fidgeting while sitting may be beneficial to metabolism.
According to one study, “Fidgeting is typically defined as involving small movements, especially of the hands and feet, often through nervousness, restlessness, or impatience. … The current results suggest that more complex movements of the hands and feet may be important to measure, in addition to level of physical activity (sitting time).

Fidgeting expends more calories than sitting still—118 calories an hour versus 80. Calorie consumption is linked to metabolism with more calories indicating more demand on metabolism. Research results showing sitting while reading or using a computer is less impactful on metabolism. It could be the benefit of intellectual stimulation while sitting.
Previous research about fidgeting while sitting showed those who sit motionless consume 80 calories an hour while those who fidget while sitting consume 118
Take steps to be impact metabolism
For every 1,000 steps taken during or 30 minutes of lifestyle activities of daily living (cooking, washing dishes, ironing, and other routine tasks at home or work done while standing or walking), there is a reduced risk for elevated measures of metabolism. 
• Reduces the risk of elevated triglycerides by15%
• Reduces the risk of low HDL (good cholesterol) by 12%
• Reduces the risk of elevated waist circumference (more than 40” for men and 35” for women) by 16%
• Reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome by 13%
(People with metabolic syndrome (abnormal measurements for three of the five metabolic biomarkers) are two to three times as likely to develop cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes; twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke and more than three times as likely to die early from those causes. Those with metabolic risk factors in middle age have poorer cognitive function, suggestive of dementia or Alzheimer’s later in life.)
• No association was found between lifestyle minutes or steps and levels of blood pressure or glucose.
Lessen uninterrupted sitting time especially television watching time
Consider how much time you spend sitting while watching television, talking or texting on the cell phone, playing video games or surfing the Internet. 
One study found that each hour of television viewing increases the risk of metabolic syndrome by: 21% for women and 26% for men.
Another study found that men with more than four hours per day screen time (television, computer, playing video games) outside of work have:
• 94% higher odds (virtually double) of having metabolic syndrome
• 88% higher odds of elevated waist circumference
• 84% higher odds of low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)
• 55% higher odds of high blood pressure
• 32% higher odds of elevated glucose
Compared to women who sit less than 1 hour per day watching television and using the computer outside of work, those who sit more than 4 hours per day and do not exercise have a 54% higher odds of metabolic syndrome.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Move and Use More Calories

Move — and you use more calories. Not exactly surprising news. But, did you know little things done throughout the day can add up to help with your weight?

If you’re counting the calories of the food you eat, consider counting the calories you use.

  • At work take a 5 minute break from sitting every 1/2 hour and you’ll use up 132 calories over an 8 hour day.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator and you’ll use 5 more calories per flight. You consume half that number walking down a flight. 
  • Rocking in a rocking chair as you watch television, for example, doubles the calories you use just sitting there: 150 calories in an hour versus 80 just sitting still.
  • Fidget while sitting (reading, computer work, moving hands and foot tapping) you’ll use 118 per hour versus 80 sitting still.
  • Fidget while standing (walking around, answering telephones, folding sheets, interacting with a pet) and you’ll use 148 calories per hour versus 87 standing still.
  • When the commercial comes on during your television viewing, stand up and walk in place or walk around the house. You’ll use 70 more calories in an hour.
  • Get a wearable fitness tracker or use your SmartPhone to track your steps every day. Add 2,00 steps to your normal day to maintain your weight. Take 10,000 steps/day and you’ll lose 10 pounds in 8 months by taking.

Most of all, as you move be aware you’re doing something that is beneficial. Such mindfulness helped motel maids lost an average of two pounds at the end of a month. In addition, their blood pressure dropped an average of 10 points.

Are You a Desk Chair Potato?

Desk-chair potato is the newly coined term for those who spend most of the day sitting at work. As noted in Men’s Health, sedentary jobs have increased 83% since 1950. In the workplace of the 1980s, office workers spent 70% of their time sitting. Today it’s 93%.
Results of such changes are reflected in barometers of health. A “significant portion” of the increase in body weight by men and women in the US since 1970, for example, is attributed to the increase in sedentary jobs. Researchers found that both men and women expend 100 calories less a day on the job. This “change ... closely matched the actual change in weight for 40-50 year old men and women.”
Other changes reported in the mid-1900s, according to Men’s Health, “… found that men who sat for long periods of time at work were twice as likely to develop heart disease as were men who moved around throughout the day. English bus drivers were more likely to suffer from heart attacks than bus conductors; mail sorters were more likely to suffer from heart attacks than mailmen.”
Sitting on the job for 10 or more years doubled the risk of colon cancer and increased the risk of rectal cancer by 44% according to an Australian study.
Aside from the metabolic dis-regulation potential of on-the-job sitting, pain and musculoskeletal distress results from chair time at work. Researcher Eric Jensen notes that “The typical office worker has more musculoskeletal problems than any other industry-sector worker, including construction, metal industry and transport workers. ... One researcher’s conclusion: Sitting is as much an occupational risk as lifting heavy weights on the job. (Hettinger, 1985).”

From Un-Sit Your Life, The Reflex “Diet” Solution, Change your sitting habits, empower your life  by Barbara and Kevin Kunz

My Job is Making Me Fat

                                                   My Job is Making Me Fat
Fighting weight gain? Sitting all day at work isn’t helping.
You probably know that already but consider what one study found. A “significant portion” of the increase in body weight by men and women in the US since 1970 is attributed to the increase in sedentary jobs. Researchers found that both men and women expend 100 calories less a day on the job. This “change ... closely matched the actual change in weight for 40-50 year old men and women” over the years.
There are opportunities to expend more calories during your work day by moving more and taking breaks from sitting. An added benefit: it’s not just your weight that will benefit as you make plans to un-sit at work. You can improve how your metabolism works and lessen your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Consider the calorie count for a typical day at the office:
Park by building, take elevator to your floor: 15 calories
Make phone calls for an hour at desk: 15 calories
Seated 45-minute lunch: 25 calories
Seated one hour meeting: 15 calories
Take elevator to ground floor. Walk to car. Drive home: 15 calories
Total: 85 calories

Consider the calorie count for a typical day at the office with some planning:
Park 5 blocks from office. Take stairs to your floor: 80-120 calories
Take calls standing up and pacing with notepad on bookcase or filing cabinet to take notes without bending down: 100-130 calories
Walk 30 minutes at lunch; sit and eat 15 minutes: 100-130 calories
One hour walking meeting: 150-200 calories
Take stairs out of the building, walk back to car: 80-100
Total: 510-680 calories
(Adapted from Move a Little, Lose a Lot by Dr. James Levine and Selene Yeager.)
Taking breaks
Taking breaks in sitting at the office expends from 24 to 132 calories during an eight-hour day depending on how much of a break you take each hour: 
  • a 1-minute break every half hour results in the expenditure of an additional 24 calories over an 8-hour time period 
  • a 2-minute break every half hour results in 59 extra calories expended 
  • a 5-minute break every half hour results in an 132 additional calories expended.
Consider using a standing desk
“Standing burns 40 percent more calories than sitting, which translates to weight loss for a 175 pound person in the following way:
• Standing for 2.5 hours each day would result in an extra energy expenditure of 350 calories per day.
• It takes 3,500 calories to equal 1 pound of weight loss
• Ten days of 350 calories per day equal 1 pound of weight loss
• There are 250 working days in a year or the potential for 20-25 pounds of weight loss by adopting this method of working.”

(From Dr. Mark Benden, advocate of the use of a standing desk at he office, researcher and author of Could You Stand to Lose?)