Why sitting at your desk may be what kills you.
Your Fitbit isn’t just trying to annoy you by telling you to hop up and do 250 steps each hour. A 2014 article published in the New York Times suggests that the more time you spend sitting (like the 8+ hours you’re spending at your desk), the more likely you are to develop health issues such as diabetes and heart disease – even if you exercise on a regular basis. Hence the term ‘sitting is the new smoking’. And there’s a reason for this – our genetic programming is based on the idea that we were fundamentally mobile creatures. So when we sit at a desk for 8 hours at a time, we’re going against evolution.
Further, a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that when you sit all day, the tiny caps on the end of DNA strands – also known as telomeres – get shorter. This, in turn, can speed up your body’s ageing process.
But fear not – it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Getting up every hour and taking a five-minute walk has been proven to combat fatigue, increase attention span, and even reduce hunger. Further, scientists at Stanford suggest that taking a walk can boost creativity by up to 60%. Taking mid-morning and afternoon walks (instead of your usual cup of coffee) can help you to refocus and be more productive throughout the remainder of the day.
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