We are in danger of becoming an indoor species.
Our habits around lifestyle, entertainment, and even how we socialize are keeping us boxed in and behind screens. The impact of this cultural shift on our health is multi-faceted and affects every aspect of our health in some way, from our Habits of Healthy Sleep to our Habits of Healthy Fuelings and to our Habits of Healthy Relationships.
While all of these areas are crucial to your longevity, I want to focus on your Habits of Healthy Motion for this article. Each aspect of your health is worthy of your attention, but my hope is that a shift in these Habits of Health will ripple into positive changes in other areas of your life.
We have known for a long time that long periods spent sitting are detrimental to wellbeing. The consequences of sitting are so dire that some of my peers have described sitting as “the new smoking.” Just as a smoking habit is a clear path to several serious health problems, so is sitting.
A recent study from the Journal of the American Heart Association focused on women who were 55 or older and who were overweight or obese. The study concluded that 1 in 3 of these women will die from heart disease.
Though this research is new, its conclusions aren’t. We’ve seen these trends in medicine for years, and this study confirms what we suspected and sits alongside similar research focused on other groups of people.
We can’t ignore it. Sitting it is killing us.
To reframe that, many of us are missing out on a huge number of rewards that come from living a more active lifestyle. Those rewards don’t just include a lowered chance for heart disease. Sitting less could mean a longer life, which means more time to spend creating beautiful memories with the people we love.
The Habits of Health Transformational System is full of suggestions on how to be more active, but here are a few you can add to your routine today:
- If you work at a desk for most of your day, invest in a standing desk or ask your employer if they can get one for you.
- If you get a phone call, take it standing.
- Take more frequent breaks and go on small walks to the water cooler to break up your day.
- Replace your television hobby with an active hobby like hiking, sports, or yoga.
These are small adjustments, but they matter, and they can lead to big rewards.