If you work in an office, chances are the first thing you do when you arrive is sit down and turn on your computer. Later when you get home, you may also sit down and turn on the TV. Sitting too much can negatively impact our health — significantly say recent studies. However, there are ways to promote wellness, and mitigate some of the negative impacts, even if you sit for many hours each day.
This recently published research has made news by shedding new light on the dangers of sitting, showing adverse impacts on cardiovascular and metabolic health. Perhaps these findings are interconnected with the fact that excess sitting often comes in a package with other influences, such as prolonged stress, pro-inflammatory foods and dehydration.
Office environments with their reduced natural light and increased artificial light affect brain serotonin and melatonin levels and, in turn, can challenge the immune, endocrine and circulatory systems. Less than par air conditioning and heating systems and cubicle life with close proximity to others can increase the challenge to your immune system to keep you healthy.
What You Can Do:
There are a number of simple ways to mitigate the problematic effects of sitting:
• Get up and walk around every half-hour, every 45 minutes, every hour — whatever you can manage. The movement gets blood flowing and clears the head.
• Lie down and lift your feet above your heart. Even one minute can make a difference.
• Make sure you are properly hydrated with plenty of pure, filtered water and herbal teas. Hot water with lemon is an excellent drink to hydrate the body and support overall health.
• Take short walks during lunch. Walk before eating. That way, circulation aids digestion.
• Maintain a healthy, unprocessed diet with plenty of highly colored fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats to help control inflammation, increase circulation and support metabolic health.
Edible mushrooms have long been revered by Asian cultures as part of their culinary tradition. All edible mushrooms are rich in health promoting compounds, even the common white button mushroom; but some, such as Shiitake, now widely available in stores, have more potent benefits. Including mushrooms in your diet is a great way to add value to your meals.
How Can Supplements Help?
Here again medicinal mushrooms can provide a real boost to your overall health. Taking your daily doses of medicinal mushrooms is a powerful way to support the health of multiple systems in one capsule.
Regular Exercise A Must:
We know what to do, but we often let this part of our health drop to the bottom of our list when we are busy. Walking during lunch, doing a few yoga positions or Qi gong warmups at your break are part of actually putting exercise into your life.
Good hydration, deep breathing and frequent movement can overcome the effects of too much sitting.
Can Meditation Help?
When done regularly, meditation can benefit numerous areas of health including cardiovascular, immune, endocrine and cellular well-being. Place a stone or an inspiring message on your desk and look at it for a few seconds to a few minutes. Exhale into it and inhale from it. Concentrate on the object and your breathing. This practice can generate relaxation in about 30 seconds. Many studies have documented very concrete health benefits from a regular meditation practice.
Yes, prolonged sitting can be an issue. But it’s more than the act of sitting that’s problematic: it’s the environment, habits and stress patterns that often go along with it. So reinforce your health with beneficial lifestyle practices, an unprocessed diet, and regular exercise.
And next time, try taking the stairs!