BodyMend Wellness ClinicHeath and Wellness

Don’t Just Sit There, Move!

Most of us who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s remember the ParticipACTION ads on television. Amazingly, these ads are still on the air, with current ParticipACTION ads cheekily imploring viewers not to visit their website.


(Exerpeutic Desktop available from Wal-Mart here)

Staying active and physically fit can yield a tremendous health benefit, but there’s more to fitness than just going for the occasional jog. Aside from regular exercise routines, active people sit just as much as people who get no exercise at all;

In a 2012 study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, researchers reported that people spent an average of 64 hours a week sitting, 28 hours standing, and 11 hours milling about (non-exercise walking), whether or not they exercised the recommended 150 minutes a week. (

While physical activity can promote strength and result in better cardiovascular health, it is often insufficient to counteract the damage done by sitting in an office chair. Most people simply sit too long and move too little.

“Canadians spend most of their waking hours sitting and get insufficient activity, a recipe for the promotion of hypertension, diabetes and even premature mortality. [Even] modest, achievable changes in movement behaviours can produce substantial and important improvements in health, and should be embraced.” (

We know that sitting for hours at a time is a big problem, but what can we do about it? There are a number of ways to tackle the problem, ranging from minor workflow adjustments to major lifestyle overhauls;

  1. Take frequent walk breaks. Every two hours, get up from your desk and walk around for 10 minutes. Preferably up and down some stairs.
  2. Every hour, remove your chair from your desk and work at your computer in a squatted position for as long as you can hold it.
  3. Get a standing desk. Force yourself to stand up, engaging your legs and core and shifting your weight from leg to leg as you work. As an added benefit, your hamstrings won’t tighten up pulling your pelvis out of alignment and creating low back pain.
  4. Get a treadmill desk. They look incredibly stupid, and take up a ton of space, but after an 8 hour day you’ll have walked for 7+ hours, and will one day look like an Olympic athlete.

Simply put, sitting still for 8+ hours a day is really bad for you, and you need to do something about it. It’s easy to sit down and ignore the problems associated with excessive sitting, and our bodies are paying the price for our complacency. Don’t just sit there, move!