Are You Slowly Killing Yourself?

Tread Desk ImageWhen I was teaching, I rarely had back issues aside from the occasional flare up from lifting weights. There was no tightness nor were there pangs of discomfort. Then I started writing full time and things changed. Tightness in my lower back made it difficult to climb out of bed at times and I wondered how I would fare in twenty years.

My chiropractor husband pointed out that people were not meant to sit for hours at a time. I began to run across articles like the one I’ve linked here—Why Sitting All Day is Killing You. I figured that since I work out every day—sometimes twice a day—I was safe. But that’s not the case. An article from the Mayo Clinic suggests that sitting leads to a variety of health concerns. The obvious one is obesity. But it goes much deeper than that. There is an increased risk of  cardiovascular disease and cancer. A 50% higher chance of dying from any disease and “about a 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack.” And exercising regularly doesn’t seem to lower the risk by any substantial amount.

This is scary. I’ve been an active person all my life. I love to exercise because of the tremendous health benefits I see from it. But am I negating those benefits by the amount of time I sit each day? So it would appear. I’ve thought of standing, but know from personal experience that this is not a solution—it causes my back to stiffen more than sitting.

So, what is the solution? Fortunately, with the studies that have come out, people are starting to take notice and make significant changes. This is a change I intend to make as well. There is a nifty invention called the Tread Desk. Yes, you can work and walk at the same time. I know what some of you are thinking, I’m not coordinated enough to do this. However, I’m not talking a fast clip here. It’s suggested that you walk anywhere from .5 mph to 1.8 mph, whatever is comfortable for you. The idea is to keep your body in motion.

Imagine the additional benefits. According to the article Walking a Little Can Go a Long Way by Lambeth Hochweld in the benefits of walking are tremendous: It’s great for the heart, cuts breast cancer risks, helps you sleep, cuts down on aches and pains, makes you happy, keeps you slimmer, cuts down on senior moments, and protects your bones.

There are alternatives with a Tread Desk. You can purchase the whole package—desk and treadmill combined—or you can purchase the treadmill that slips under your own desk. This is something that is starting to take off with large companies as they see the tremendous benefit for their employees which translates into profits for them—including increased productivity and fewer sick days.

So, the next time my husband asks me, “See something you can’t live without?” (Which he often does when we’re shopping), I can honestly say, “Yes!”

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