Get Fit Don’t Sit Day is right around the corner.
Are you ready?
It’s easy to overlook awareness days. After all, there is no shortage.
But as far as I am concerned, this is one of the most important awareness days. Sitting all day, without taking frequent breaks, increases the risk of death from virtually all health problems.
The athletes among us may feel a sense of immunity from the harmful effects of sitting all day. They may feel that their hours spent at the gym or on the track erase their day in the chair.
After all, research shows that being compliant with an exercise regimen improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and improves metabolism and cholesterol/triglyceride levels. Risk of certain cancers and type 2 diabetes risk are reduced. Regular exercise makes a healthy weight easier to maintain, and this positively impacts overall health.
All of this is very good news, indeed.
But just like virtually everything else in life, consistency is key. Determining a healthy activity level can’t be based solely on a small percentage of the day any more than good character can be defined by the act of doing one good deed.
Healthy behaviors cannot be compartmentalized—people must practice healthy behaviors throughout the day.
Research shows that too much sitting raises the risk of death, even if you exercise regularly.
So this awareness day is really about looking at the whole picture. It’s not just about an intensive gym session once a day–it’s about increasing activity throughout the day.
The ADA recommends that everyone, including people with diabetes, limit the amount of time they spend sitting. Specifically, the ADA recommends getting up and moving every 90 minutes.
Rest assured, this won’t cut into your productivity. Quite the contrary.
There is a plethora of empirical data that supports that mental breaks, taken while stepping away from one’s work, will lead to an increase in productivity.
Scientific American reports, “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life. A wandering mind unsticks us in time so that we can learn from the past and plan for the future…”
So, as much as the body needs regular activity, the brain needs regular downtime.
Getting up and moving around every 90 minutes is a win-win for both employees and employers, and it would appear that the ADA has found a silver bullet, not only for wellness, but for well-being, with this awareness day. Let’s make “Get Fit Don’t Sit Day” an all-year workplace goal.
I would write more, but it’s time for a walk.
Is your company participating in National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day? The ADA has several tips on how you can participate, no matter what size your business is.
Contact us today to help get your employees more engaged in a healthy lifestyle.