How to Avoid "Sitting Disease"

Many Americans spend hours each day sitting, whether it’s at work, during their commute or even relaxing on the couch. Excessive sitting is becoming a significant health issue for our country and has been linked to negative impacts on both mental and physical health. Research has shown that consistent sedentary behavior may be associated with weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, spinal issues, muscle degeneration and other health issues. The health experts at Envolve, an integrated healthcare solutions company, have put together five easy ways to help you move more throughout your day and reduce the risk of some of the health concerns associated with too much sitting.

  1. Track Time. Figure out how long you sit each day and create a plan to help reduce that time. Ideally, you should get up and move around at least once per hour. You don’t need to stand for hours at a time. In fact, experts recommend standing for shorter spurts and making small movements when standing to further increase the benefits. Set a phone alarm, add a calendar notification or buy an electronic fitness device to remind you to get up and move around.
  2. Get On Up. Some companies now provide employees with desks that are capable of going from a sitting to standing position. Don’t have a standing desk? That’s no reason to just sit. There are still easy ways to incorporate standing or walking in your workspace. Have a conference call? Why sit when you can stand!
  3. Stride Smart. Make a goal to reach the recommended 10,000 steps each day. That might sound like a lot, but break it up into smaller, more manageable steps. Walk to a nearby park during lunch. Skip the elevator and take the stairs to your floor. You can even add a few extra steps by going to a water dispenser that’s further away from you. Little bursts add up! Use an electronic fitness tracker – like a pedometer or a wristband –to more easily track your daily steps and hold yourself accountable.
  4. Meet Actively. Consider holding a “walking meeting.” Walking increases blood flow, which may also get those creative juices flowing! Ask your co-workers to join you in walking around the block or heading to a local coffee shop for your discussion instead of sitting in a conference room.
  5. Extend and Elongate. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, take time to stretch your arms, legs and back. Staying in one position – whether it’s sitting or standing – is hard on your body. Simply reaching up or out, extending your legs or bending to lengthen your spine can help alleviate muscle tension and make you feel even better throughout the day!

Envolve, Inc.® is a family of health solutions, working together to make healthcare simpler, more effective and more accessible for everyone. As an agent for change in healthcare, Envolve is committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. Envolve unifies medical management, utilization management, specialty pharmacy, vision, dental, behavioral health management, life and health/wellness management, empowerment and education services, telehealth services and 24/7 nurse advice services. For more information, please visit our website http://www.envolvehealth.com/.

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