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The dangers of sitting down

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John Sherman
2017-07-31

Sitting down to take a few minutes rest is always a welcome break. When you’re on your feet all day, it’s nice to take the weight off. But of course, most of us no longer work in physically demanding jobs. We’re not working in the fields or walking through the streets.

We’re in the office all the time.

So we sit a lot.

As in, almost 9 hours a day!

And the effects of sitting for so long are fairly obvious most of the time. There are the slouching shoulders, there’s pain in the lower back… but what about the effects that aren’t quite so easy to see?

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This course addresses those effects. They’re the ones that can take 7 years off our lives if we’re unlucky. The good part is that these nasty biological consequences are very easy to reverse. Move a bit. Stand up. Do what your body is intended to do!

The Course

This course gives a clear structure for office workers – or anyone who spends too much time sitting at work – to change their habits for the long-term benefits of their health.

Through informative yet fun video lessons, the course explains the hows and whys of sitting less for a better life.

The Dangers of Sitting – The course kicks off by offering an in-depth argument for why sitting for long periods of time isn’t a good idea.

As a species, we’re made to move. That’s what our bodies are designed to do and it’s what they do best. If we know that the average person now sits for 8.9 hours each day, we can start to understand that our sedentary lifestyle could have some unwelcome consequences.

The science behind the concern about sitting for long periods is well documented. Put very simply, when we sit down for stretches of time, the enzymes in the walls of our blood capillaries – whose job it is to break down harmful blood fats – simply shut down. Our inactivity means we end up burning only a single calorie per minute. Blood sugar and blood pressure levels or much more difficult to regulate when we’re inactive and the scary part is that this process isn’t affected by how active we are outside of our sitting hours! So, regardless of how often you go to the gym, if you’re sitting for 9 hours a day then you’ll still be victim to these harmful processes. Uh oh.

How Long Do You Sit? – This section asks learners to truly consider how long they sit for.

When we’re aware of frightening outcomes of the actions we take, we often deny that we’ll be victim to them. “It’ll never happen to me” is the usual idea. And we usually say this because deep down, we don’t want to accept that one day it might be ourselves receiving bad news.

But let’s be sensible. Why not consider our future health? So let’s look at how long we sit each day. Add the numbers together. If you sit for more than 4 hours – and we’re sure it will be - then there could be detrimental effects upon your health.

Move More, Sit Less – This section of the course offers ten quick tips on how best to change your sitting habits.

Sitting down is really comfortable; that’s why we do it. And though we’re not suggesting you never sit down, perhaps you should break up long periods of sitting more than you do.

Here’re a few of the suggestions given in this section to get your body moving and avoid sitting so much.

  • Stand up or pace while you speak on the phone
  • Walk over and see a colleague, don’t email them
  • Move your rubbish bin away from your desk so that you have to walk to it

The Dangers of Sitting, Final Summary – This section is a recap across the rest of the course.

It points out that expert knowledge tells us, very clearly, that sitting for extended periods isn’t good for our health. Yet we still do. But here’s our chance to change. Put some of the tips this course has given you into practice and reap the benefits of your efforts.

What’s Included?

The Dangers of Sitting course is driven by easy-to-understand videos. They’re the guiding light behind the course, though other resources also play a part in overall learning.

The three-page Dangers of Sitting handout focuses learner attention on the points raised within the videos. The ten tips are printed clearly so that the learners can take them away and place them wherever needed.

The Dangers of Sitting infographic poster is full of colourful images and helpful hints to push learners to put their newly acquired knowledge into practice.

Why the Dangers of Sitting are Important

Sitting down seems to be the most natural thing in the world, but like all pleasures in life, there can be too much of a good thing.

We sit to work, we sit to socialize, we sit to relax, and we sit to eat. All of this time sitting down adds up to reduce health, and potentially, the length of your life.

With some easy to use tips and habits, sitting down for excessive amounts of time will be a thing of the past.

Change your habits now. You’ll thank yourself later.

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