Are you sitting right now? I encourage you to stand up as you read the rest of this blog entry. Oh, and thank you for reading it.

Dr. Stefan Zavalin, our recent guest on Life Mastery Radio spoke about the prolonged effects of sitting too much. It was fascinating. He’s the author of Sit Less; Evolve your Work and Life without Compromising your Health

If you sit for:

  • Four hours you’ll experience an increase in blood pressure and blood insulin
  • Six hours you may feel increased anxiety and depression
  • Eight hours you double your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Eleven hours you increase your chance of premature death by 40%

These are staggering statistics, and Stefan claims it’s not because you aren’t exercising enough, it’s because you’re sitting too much throughout the day.

 “If you have an active lifestyle and achieve the recommended 150 minutes a week of activity (mostly exercise) it may counteract all the sitting. But exercise is not all we should do.”

Dr. Stefan Zavalin

Dr. Zavalin encourages us to decrease our sitting time every day to less than 8 hours. He suggests the ideal solution is to stand up and move for a few minutes every half hour. It’s usually at the 30 minute mark that blood flow to your brain begins to decrease. Moving will help us be more productive, and even smarter.

Try decreasing your sit time by small increments. Just 2 minutes of movement makes a significant difference. Start there, but we really need to adapt our work and routines. In other words, do more tasks standing up rather than sitting down.”

Dr. Stefan Zavalin

On air this past Tuesday I stood to co-host the show with Todd. I used boxes to raise my laptop to eye level and enjoyed standing as I interviewed Dr. Zavalin.

Although appreciative that I jumped on to his movement, Stefan cautioned me …and you… to not make changes too quickly. Start by reducing your sit time each day 30 minutes. Increase your moving/standing time by small increments from there until you reach the goal of 8 hours or less of sitting.

If you get tired or achy you’re doing too much. It should be invigorating. There is ground to be gained when you start moving more no matter your age but move within your means. Go to the limit, then push a little further.”

Dr. Stefan Zavalin

Here are ways you can sit less and move more:

1. Walk while talking on the phone

2. Stand instead of sitting whenever it’s possible

3. Take out the trash or do other chores

4. Watch TV or eat standing up

5. Walk while meeting with clients or friends

Stefan’s TED Talk is well-worth watching. If you’re like me (and Todd) you’ll realize how easy it is to make substantial changes to your health.

Are you still standing? Good for you! Give yourself a pat on the back and move again in 30 minutes or so. Be grateful for your abilities and tell yourself, “I get to do this.”

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