In a recent podcast, we were privileged to have doctoral candidate Travis Saunders (@TravisSaunders) with us discussing the effects of a sedentary lifestyle on our health. We learned a ton about what it really means to be sedentary.
I, like many people, usually thought of “sedentary” at one end of a sliding scale, and “active” at the other end. Everyone, in my mind, fell somewhere on that scale. Couch potatoes, video gamers, and the like were on the far left, and professional athletes were on the far right.
Turns out, this is NOT the case. Ready for a paradigm shift? Here it comes:
You can be BOTH sedentary AND active. What? That doesn’t make sense! Actually…it does.
To be sedentary, you just need to sit several hours a day. The exact number is still up for debate, but if you sit for your job like so many do, you are sedentary. Even if you run five times a week. Studies are now showing that being sedentary has some negative health effects that may not offset by being active.
Guess what? I’m one of those people. I sit several hours each day for my day job. I also run, walk, or hike three or four times a week.
The good news is that a few small changes could help. Travis uses a standing desk at home, and a “pedal exerciser” at work. Inspired by Travis, this past week, I created:
You got it! As of last Monday, the Megadesk 6-X prototype was up and running. In fact, I even snapped a picture of it for you.
I admit it. The prototype was just my mouse and keyboard on top of two paper boxes, but it was a start. I’m fortunate that I have a laptop, so if I do need to sit, I just pop open my laptop and have a seat. I gave it a week to see how I liked it. I didn’t sit down at my desk once this week!
So today I created Megadesk 2.0! It’s awesome!
This was a $15 shelf from Home Depot with some $2 plastic feet I nailed on it. It took a good 10 minutes to put together.
Curious how many calories you might burn using a standing desk? Lifehacker.com has a post with a link to a calorie calculator for just such an occasion!
If you haven’t listened to our podcast with Travis, go back and take a listen, it’s worth the time.
This week, the guys talk with Travis Saunders. Travis is a PhD student researching the relationship between sedentary time and chronic disease risk in children and youth. He is also a Certified Exercise Physiologist and competitive distance runner.
You might be surprised to learn that running 3 times a week doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not sedentary. What? That’s crazy talk. Is it? Click HERE to start listening and find out!
In the news:
Health on Today: Marathoners Cardiac Arrest Risk Quite Low Study Finds
This week’s healthy recipe: Thanks to Weight Watchers for another great recipe, recommended by Don! Chicken and Spinach Lasagna