Karen (yes, again) put me onto this documentary, which she'd seen on SBS. It's super-interesting stuff, although we mostly all know this already. Basically, sitting really is the new smoking. It is, apparently, the new killer of modern humans.
It's not sitting itself that's problematic, although holding your hips in just the one position for such long periods does have rather unfortunate postural side effects, but the inactivity.
This documentary showed two very interesting bits of research: that you may need only three minutes of high intensity exercise per week to be healthy (HIT protocol) and that we all need to move more (to up our NEAT - Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis).
We keep still, gunk builds up. Not just the fuzz that hooks our muscles and connective tissue into a velcroed mess, but also fat and sugar in our blood, because our muscles aren't burning energy & asking for the fats and sugars they use as fuel. Humans, it turns out, were made to move.
Whilst coming to yoga class is great, it's not enough.
So what to do?
Well, standing desks are a start. Walking meetings, walking at lunch. Going to the supermarket on foot & carrying your groceries back (I do this quite often, and although I whinge to myself most of the way home, I suspect it's one of the main reasons I can now deadlift 70 kgs. Yes, I can lift more than I weigh) .
Basically, move more.
The truth, according to James Levine of the Mayo clinic, is that most of us don't take any exercise at all. So we have to get more NEAT. Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Folks who work in hospitality and are running around all day are prime examples of this. Yoga teachers fall a little lower on the scale I guess, because we mostly don't sit during our workdays but we don't have the same intensity as a tradie or hospitality worker would.
If you sit at work, you will need to modify your life just a little to make huge changes to your health. Take the stairs instead of the lift. Stand and stretch every 20 minutes. Walk to chat to a colleague instead of emailing them. Can't hurt to try eh? In fact, the science seems to be increasingly indicating that it can really, really help.
If you have the time, watch this video: