What is sitting disease, exactly? If you’ve ever spent a whole workday so plugged in to your projects and meetings that you barely moved for nine hours straight, then you might be a sitting disease victim.
The overly sedentary lifestyle associated with sitting disease is linked to a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, and other health issues.
And hitting the gym every couple of days may not be the antidote you think it is. Studies show that long stretches of sitting throughout the day may be so devastating to your body that exercising for 30 minutes here and there cannot negate the risks of health complications.
If your job requires extended periods of sitting, the easiest solution to avoid succumbing to sitting disease is to set a timer on your watch, phone, or computer to get up and move around every half hour. Using a fitness tracker can also remind you to take enough steps throughout your day.
Internist Paul Knoepfelmacher, MD, recommends one to three minutes of activity for every half hour you’re glued to your chair in order to give your body an adequate break from sitting. You could walk around the office, get some fresh air outside, or even do some simple stretches or jumping jacks.
Another common fix is to switch to a stand-up desk, which allows you to stand at your workstation while comfortably using your computer. (Pro tip: Some employers will pay for this if you request it, so don’t be shy!)
If you’re really lucky, you may even have or be able to request treadmill desks at your office. This is exactly what it sounds like: the user walks on a treadmill while using their computer, which is safely docked and positioned at a comfortable height.
So keep your workout schedule, but add in a little activity in the office, too. You might even find it helps you avoid that afternoon slump.