By Laura Stec
Sitting is the New SmokingUploaded: Feb 5, 2015
"The fact that the average adult spends 50 ? 70% of their day sitting is no surprise to anyone who works in an office. But few realize the health consequences suffered as a result of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, or the effects it has on society at large."
And so begins the fabulous KQED Forum show, aired on December 2, 2014. I encourage you to listen to it.
Past studies have found that the more hours people sit, the more likely they are to develop diabetes, heart disease and other conditions, and potentially to die prematurely ? even if they exercise regularly. Also, the more one sits at work, the more one tends to sit after hours. And going to the gym at the start or finish of the day is not enough. Alan Hedge, research professor at Cornell and Syracuse, suggests we vary motion throughout the day, with an optimum of 20 minutes per half hour sitting, 8 minutes standing, and 2 minutes stretching. Our bodies are meant to move, not over-sit or over-stand.
Exercise/movement is important not because it builds sculpted bodies, but because it gets the lymph system going and helps pump blood back to our heart (the venous return). Turns out more movement put us in a better mood, helps us think more creatively, and be more responsive to working collaboratively.
Therefore, Doctor Stec has a prescription for you. No more always picking up dinner after work, sitting down to eat, and then sitting down after to watch TV. Instead, go home, stand up, and make your dinner. Yes, Cooking is the New Black! It's the trendy response to a day at the office. Let's call it kitchen yoga from now on, with the end result of a delicious healthy meal for you and yours. And because the energy of the cook goes into the food, not only do we benefit by moving after a long day of sitting, our dinner does too, cooked with high-vibe hands of loving grace, rather than hands of indifference. There's nothin' like a home cooked meal ? and now we know even more reasons to do it.
Make sure you have a good mat by the way. Most of my clients don't have anything to stand on in their kitchen, so you probably don't either. Mats really make cooking more pleasurable. I use a "Wellness Mat," but there are many brands out there with colors and styles that fit well with any kitchen.
So get up, stand up. Stand up for your rice! Get up, stand up, don't give up the night!