Brian White | Fitness
You are probably going to live towards 100 years old. Our living conditions are better, our food is better – if we make the right choices – and most diseases that used to kill us with regularity, like cardiovascular disease and heart attacks, are now just speed bumps in our long road to 100.
The scary part isn’t necessarily the ever-increasing longevity of our lives, but rather it is how we are going to age. Is it going to be enjoyable? How vital are we going to be? Are we going to be confined to a wheelchair or an oxygen tank, or are we going to enjoy vacations, shopping and maybe even our great grandchildren, well into our 90s?
Stop and think about it. How much fun is life going to be for you if you live to be 100 years old and you continue killing your vitality and body eight to 10 hours a day, every day?
We are actually reversing evolution. In a mere 40 years since the advent of computers, we are on pace to undo generations of evolution.
Numerous research studies have now proven that regardless of whether you jump up at the end of the day and run for an hour, you cannot negate the negative health effects of sitting for 10 to 12 hours a day in front of the computer.
What health effects, you ask?
They include an increase in blood fats, blood sugar and insulin production, as well as a decrease in the body’s ability to use them. Sitting for long periods of time is also associated with metabolic syndrome, which is defined as a group of risk factors that lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Too much sitting is not the same as too little exercise.
These same studies show that when people sit for long periods of time, their muscle activity flat lines: the same as a flat line for the brain, or a dead horse. Studies performed on lab rats showed that this muscular shutdown is quickly followed by a dramatic drop in an enzyme that acts as a “fat vacuum” in the bloodstream. This gives artery-damaging fats a great opportunity to build up. Popping up to jog once a day is unlikely to undo the damage.
If you are chained to your desk for most of the day, you need to get up and move around every 45 minutes. And that doesn’t mean you have to do Tai Chi in the middle of your office, or rip off 20 lunges. All you need to do is get up and walk to the printer. This is more about not allowing your body rest comfortably in whole-body muscle inactivity, not about breaking a sweat.
Walk to the bathroom, hand-deliver a message or walk one lap around the office after each phone call. It’s not hard stuff, but it will take discipline. Set a timer or leave a sticky note on your computer to remind yourself that you are going to live a long time.
It will be way more fun if your computer doesn’t slowly kill you.
—Brian White owns BWF, San Diego’s Premier Training Service located in Hillcrest. He runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients in Diverge Gym. Go to youshouldbedoingit.com to read his blog, or take his seven-day video challenge to get back into healthy habits. Contact Brian at email@example.com or on his website.