The Latest Sitting Study Proves You Need To Take Action. Here’s How.

Different Study. Same Results.

Are you getting tired of reading about the results of more studies that show that sitting all day is bad for your health?  I know I am.  But, because I work at a desk most of the day, I’m having trouble ignoring the overwhelming evidence that keeps coming in that says even if you get a healthy dose of exercise every day, it can’t undo the damage caused by sitting.

Exercise That Works will get you moving more from 9 to 5. (Flickr photo by Josh Semans)

Bad News

The results of latest study were reported this week at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association.  CT scans of 500 Californians of the average age of 65 showed that excess time sitting “was significantly related to pericardial fat around your heart.”

Lead study author Britta Larsen, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the department of cardiovascular epidemiology at the University of California in San Diego, says the study results mean that “even if you run every day but then you sit for eight hours a day, the sitting is doing something bad for you.”

The bad for you that she’s referring to is the fat deposits that collect around a person’s heart as a result of spending too much time in the chair.  This pericardial fat is strongly related to cardiovascular disease and gets in the way of healthy heart functions. Larsen’s hope is that the workplace will become more in tune to this threat to the desk-workers health and become more stand-up friendly.

Your workplace may not be able to provide you with a stand-up work station or treadmill desk, but that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to poor health because you have a desk job.

Fitness That Works - Simple moves to make exercise happen from 9 to 5.

Fitness That Works:
Simple moves to make exercise happen from 9 to 5. 

Sean Foy, author of the 10 Minute Total Body Breakthrough, has partnered with Wellness Council of America to publish the book Fitness That Works. Simple Moves to Make Exercise Happen From 9 To 5.  The goal of the book is to provide solutions for ‘sitters’ by creating a variety of exercises based on seven simple moves:  Balance, reach, step, push-pull, squat-life, twist, and lunge.

Sean believes that if you do these seven simple moves – all demonstrated in the book – daily, you will burn an extra 200-300 calories a day, increase your metabolism without sweating, turn on fat-burning enzymes, improve energy and reduce fatigue by 65%, and improve sleep.  The best news is that all of the moves can be done at work between the hours of 9 to 5.

You Can Lead The Way

Exercise has a role in the treatment and prevention of more than 40 chronic diseases.  It reduces the risk of heart disease by 40%, diabetes by almost 60%, high blood pressure by 50%, and can lower the risk of colon cancer by more than 60%.  But, over 70% of the population doesn’t get enough exercise to maintain health.

Implementing these seven simple moves into your own workday as well as your workplace can have a huge impact on you and your co-workers health, morale and productivity.  Talk to your human resource manager, company wellness coordinator, or nurse for help in organizing a team challenge around the seven moves and throw in some gift cards and fun prizes to get employees enthused about participating.

Fitness That Works can be purchased for $12.95 at Also, Sean Foy’s book the 10 Minute Total Body Breakthrough counters the biggest barrier to exercise – not enough time – with a variety of 10 workouts that can be done anywhere.

Need more ideas to combat the sitting?  You might also like Eleven Workplace Habits That Will Improve Your Health and Don’t Let All The Sitting Kill You: Ten Habits That You Can Incorporate Daily.

For more ideas on starting a wellness program at your worksite, check out Take The Lead And Launch A Workplace Wellness Challenge.  

I am not an affiliate of Sean Foy.  I received the Fitness at Work book as a gift from Welcoa for attending a series of webinars on incorporating physical activity into the work day.  I fell in  love with the book and am planning a program around its content for my workplace.

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