It’s been dubbed the “sitting disease”; a cluster of negative health concerns that result from a sedentary lifestyle. You might be picturing someone flopped on the couch all day binge-watching Netflix with an endless bowl of popcorn perched on their lap. You may think this problem could never affect you. But statistics show that the average American spends approximately 8 hours per day engaged in sedentary activities.
As an author, I’m not exempt from this statistic. You’ll often find me sitting for hours in front of the laptop, writing, editing, or doing research for my science fiction and fantasy novels. If you are an author, you might also find you’re sitting for most of the day, which may be heightening your risk of developing metabolic and medical issues associated with “sitting disease.”
Studies indicate that “sitting disease” can be as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes. Some of the negative side-effects from sitting for long periods of time on a regular basis include:
- Poor posture, back and neck issues
- Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
- Increased risk of becoming overweight or obese
- Increased risk of blood clots
- Shortened life span
To offset the negative effects of sitting disease, several impressive inventions have been created, such as desks that are adjustable to standing height and bike desks, but they tend to be pricey and not everyone can splurge on these functional devices. But don’t fret…there are several ways to prevent sitting disease on your own.
Recommendations For Preventing Sitting Disease:
- Stand up and walk around every two hours
- Keep meals and snacks healthy and nutritious to avoid weight gain
- Drink plenty of water
- Stretch often, especially your neck, back, shoulders and legs.
- Have a quick workout during your break
Are you not sure what kind of workout to do while you’re on your break? If you’re squeezing in a workout during your breaktime, chances are your time is limited. No worries, I have a short, fun one that will do just the trick! Try this quick routine. One round through this plan takes about ten minutes. You can repeat it every two hours, to give you two or three full circuits in total. You don’t need a lot of equipment, just some supportive footwear, a bottle of water to stay hydrated, and a yoga mat (optional).
- March for one minute
- 12 stationary lunges (6 on each leg)
- 15 crunches
- 30 second wall sit
- 6 burpees
- 20 squats
- 60 second plank
- 12 push-ups (go on your knees if you need to modify)
- 50 jumping jacks
- March for one minute
You can follow up the routine with a gentle stretch. And, then back to writing you go, refreshed and invigorated.
Ensure to check with your health care provider before starting a new exercise routine. If you’re unable to perform high impact movements due to knee or joint problems, you can modify the jumping jacks to a step-out, step-in movement, and eliminate the jump from the burpees, instead stepping the feet back and then forward.
Adding in these short exercise breaks can greatly improve your health.
Health Benefits Include:
- Improved posture and spinal alignment
- Prevention of weight gain
- Strengthened muscles
- Reduced feelings of fatigue, anxiety, and depression
- Boosted metabolism
- Improved circulation
- Improved mood
- Reduced risk of health issues related to “sitting disease”
Although “sitting disease” is not considered an actual disease just yet and is merely a term used by the scientific community, the issues that stem from being overly sedentary are very real. Take care of yourself by keeping active, even when you’re writing.
Now, it’s my turn to get up and move around a bit. Take care of yourselves and keep reading!
💋 Lanie Mores