From pre-historic times, human beings have physically used their bodies to perform manual labour to survive. Building places to live, finding food, travelling all required a high amount of energy expenditure. In the past century we have replaced tasks that originally required a large amount of physical activity with machines and technology. Our food is shipped to grocery stores, of which we don’t even have to walk inside to pick up, or conversely, we can simply order the groceries and meals right to your door. Oh the convenience! Machines are building our roads, houses and workplaces. Trucks, boats and planes ship our products around the world, while barely any physical labor must be done.
Think of a typical day. Wake up, you STAND up out of bed.
You do your morning routines, and then you probably SIT while eating breakfast,
drinking coffee – maybe you skip that time and go to SITTING in your car, or on
the bus on the way to work. You STAND as you walk to your desk, and then you
SIT. And you SIT. Those first couple hours fly by before you know it you’ve
been SITTING for 3 – 4 hours straight.
You STAND for a brief time at lunch, but mostly likely just move to a different area to SIT again. The afternoon passes by and this trend repeats. Before you know it, you’re at home SITTING, and somehow you realize you’re tired. But you’ve been SITTING all day – “how can I be tired?”
Because – our bodies are designed to MOVE. The human body works the most effectively and efficiently when we use it the way it is meant to. When we don’t activate our muscles there is no reason for them to stay strong and able – less oxygen is passed through our bodies, including our brains, decreasing awareness and functionality. And before you know it that tiredness is a hard wall to overcome.
Our global population is averaging between 8 – 12 hours of sitting EVERY DAY!! Researchers and scientists have coined a term, Sitting Disease: referring to metabolic syndrome (aspects related to obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugars), and the ill effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle. Our medical industry came up with a new term simply caused by sitting too much… Seriously?
So how do we start to change?
One change at time. Start in the mornings – are you able to take the stairs instead of the elevator? Even for 1 flight of stairs. Are you able to stand while having your morning coffee? Are you able to fill up your water bottle at a fountain just a little further away? Are you able to sit and stand at your desk 3 times every hour?
Even just thinking about making a change is the way to get started. Raise your awareness about the time you spend sitting versus standing and see if slowly you can start changing those numbers!