Interrupt Sedentary Activity

Many of us spend the majority of our days sitting (sedentary) for extended durations. And unfortunately this behavior has a detrimental effect on our health.

Negative Impacts of Prolonged Sedentary Activity:

Specific negative impacts of prolonged sedentary time include:

  • Cardiovascular disease [pubby id="21673296,23583242"]
  • Metabolic syndrome [pubby id="21270206,19900152"]
  • Obesity [pubby id="12684356"]
  • Increased risk of cancer [pubby id="20833969,19882359"]
  • Increase risk of type 2 diabetes [pubby id="21673296"]

And worst of all, it appears that engaging in moderate/extreme physical activity does not entirely offset these negative effects. So, simply going to the gym after work is just not going to cut it.

Regularly Interrupting Sedentary Behavior is Necessary

Research on the subject has shown that one of the best ways to reduce the negative impact of sitting is to regularly get up and engage in light to moderate physical activity.

Specific benefits of interrupting sedentary activity include [pubby id=“20577058,26312582,26920441”]:

  • Improved short term metabolism function
  • Improved blood sugar control
  • Improved triglyceride levels
  • Reduce levels of fatigue

Ideas for Integration:

The key to making sedentary interruptions a habit is to have a simple trigger and a easy to start action.

The trigger can be an hourly chime on your watch, an alert from your smart-phone or some other event that occurs at regular intervals during your sedentary time. The simplest and most straightforward trigger is an alert on your watch or smart-phone which goes off every 30-60 minutes.

The action can be a a single exercise, a short exercise routine, or a simple stretch routine. The main thing is it should be easy enough and short enough that you actually do it.

Here is an example of my trigger and action:

  • Trigger: chime on my watch set to repeat every 45 minutes
  • Action: jumping jacks (will add variation once it becomes a habit)