HEALTH

Many of us spend far too much time sit­ting at work and home to the detri­ment of our bod­ies, ex­perts warn. Here’s how to shake up a seden­tary life­style.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Shake up your seden­tary life­style for the bet­ter.

YOU’VE PROB­A­BLY HEARD THAT SIT­TING is the “new smok­ing” in terms of ill health and longevity. While our par­ents’ gen­er­a­tion faced in­creased mor­tal­ity rates linked to heavy smok­ing and drink­ing, to­day’s gen­er­a­tions need to start think­ing about be­ing seden­tary in the same way. Our bod­ies are not de­signed to sit for hours on end.

But most of us do: stud­ies have found that the av­er­age worker spends 77 per cent of the day sit­ting down, whether at a desk, eat­ing break­fast or din­ner, driv­ing to or from work, catch­ing pub­lic trans­port or watch­ing tele­vi­sion at night. This puts us at far greater risk of de­vel­op­ing

se­ri­ous con­di­tions such as heart dis­ease, obe­sity, higher glu­cose lev­els and type-2 di­a­betes. Re­search shows a seden­tary life­style can shave years off your life, with one study re­veal­ing ev­ery hour spent sit­ting in front of the tele­vi­sion re­duces life­span by 22 min­utes.

Stud­ies have also shown the neg­a­tive ef­fects of longterm sit­ting can­not be re­versed. And while reg­u­lar daily ex­er­cise is im­por­tant for gen­eral good health, it won’t pro­tect you if your life­style is other­wise seden­tary. The only so­lu­tion is to de­velop a new habit of sit­ting less. Whether it’s by tak­ing reg­u­lar breaks, sit­ting “ac­tively” on a fit­ness ball, stand­ing at your work­sta­tion or even learn­ing to use a tread­mill desk, it is pos­si­ble to break up your sit­ting hours.

Roll away An in­ex­pen­sive foam roller is a use­ful tool for self-mas­sage and stretch­ing. LOOSEN UP When you get home from work, use a foam roller to re­duce any tight­ness in your glutes, hip flex­ors, shoul­der blades and lower back.

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