The downside of sitting too long and what to do

The latest research suggests that how much time we spend sitting could be just as important as how much time we spend exercising.

A new term has been coined to describe those who exercise, but spend the majority of their days being sedentary: active couch potatoes.

While the term couch potato usually refers to a lazy person who prefers to just sit around and watch TV, an active couch potato refers to someone who is inactive for the majority of the day, but regularly makes sure to get in 30 minutes of exercise on most days.

An active couch potato is not necessarily lazy, but spend most of his or her time sitting during leisure time, work (and commuting to and from work) and while eating meals. In other words, they’re almost completely physically inactive throughout the day, with the exception of that 30 or minutes of daily exercise.

Although 30 minutes of exercise is absolutely beneficial and healthful, the rest of the day is causing tremendous health hazards. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified physical inactivity as an independent risk factor for chronic disease development, and it is now the fourth leading cause of death worldwide.

Circa 2013, I made moves to avoid prolonged sitting while doing computer works.

I resorted to using improvised stand-up desk for my computer work.  See 2013 pictures below.

I am not using improvised stand-up desk anymore as I find it cumbersome, particulary, rearranging my computer.  (Note: there are now commercially available stand-up desks that one can consider buying.)

What I found simple and convenient to do more than the stand-up desk is to take a break after each hour of computering using a alarm clock or timer.  This is to avoid not only an eye strain from constantly looking at my laptop screen but also pain and discomfort on my knees and legs on sitting too long on a chair, particularly when it is not ergonomic.  Upon hearing the alarm, I would stand-up and do some short-duration physical activities like going to the restroom, going downstairs to take a drink, doing a 5-minute stretching-flexing exercises, etc.  Honestly, I have to confess, for the past 6 to 7 years or so up to now, I have not been totally successful in accomplishing my resolution on avoiding prolonged sitting position.  At lot of times, I have disregarded the alarm or timer especially when I am engrossed on my computer work.

I have kept on resetting and refocusing on my resolution every now and then.  I will renew my resolution again today (19jul21).   Promise!



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