Workout while you sit: At work, study or play

Make it Your New Year’s Resolution

Does your work or study get in the way of working out? Around the world, many people are finding ways to combine the two – whether it be with a treadmill desk, short bursts of exercise throughout the day or with the new SitActive Posture Cushion, a bit like a Swiss ball but less cumbersome and more portable and discrete.

It works to keep your body moving and improving posture while you work, which is in line with health recommendations against sitting for too long - whether it be in the car, at your desk, at the dinner table or in front of the television.

The health consequences of “Too much sitting,” as opposed to “Too little exercise”, are identified in ‘inactivity physiology’ – a term first coined in 2004 to describe the risks associated with sedentary behaviour.

An Australian paper suggests a healthy lifestyle includes both reducing the time we spend sitting down, as well as increasing our exercise and it calls for public recommendations on reducing sitting time.

“We've become so sedentary that 30 minutes a day at the gym may not do enough to counteract the detrimental effects of eight, nine, or 10 hours of sitting,” says Genevieve Healy, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Cancer Prevention Research Centre of the University of Queensland in Australia.

Research also shows that weight loss is harder to achieve if we’re sitting for longer. After approximately fifteen minutes of sitting, the body’s metabolism slows, thinking we’re at rest and our fat burning enzyme production is reduced.

The SitActive Posture Cushion can be used to engage abdominals - the muscle groups requiring some of the toughest exercises to tone - as well as easing backache and improving posture.

It’s not just about a better body, the increased risk of many major diseases, such as cancer, atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer is also linked to sitting for long periods of time. With 24 people in New Zealand dying each week from bowel cancer, the benefits of keeping active can’t be under-estimated.

Further benefits of keeping active while you sit include improvements in:

- circulation

- digestion

- cardiovascular and lymphatic systems

- musculoskeletal system

- bladder control and prevention / recovery from prolapse and postnatal rehabilitation.

The SitActive Posture Cushion is available in silver, blue, red or green, RRP$34.95, through, telephone 09 414 2047.

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