A new study in the American Journal of Kidney Disease has linked being a couch potato to increased risk of chronic kidney disease. Prolonged sitting also boosts your risk of developing high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other blood sugar problems, and cancer—even if you work out several times a week! While this newest study doesn’t mean that if you sit around all day, you’ll develop kidney problems, it is another good reminder that it’s important to incorporate regular movement into your day, especially if you have a desk job.
The good news is that even small movements (standing and stretching, grabbing a coffee from the kitchen or break room) can be helpful. And if you can squeeze in a bit more activity, such as climbing a flight or two of stairs, so much the better. If you need a reminder to get up from your chair, try setting an alert on your phone or computer for every 45 minutes, or tie your stretch breaks to something you do regularly, like checking your email or Facebook. If you are genuinely stuck in your chair (for example, in a meeting or in your car), try rotating your wrists and ankles, extending your legs, or doing a gentle twisting back stretch to get your blood flowing.
An extra bonus of adding this kind of activity throughout your day is that it brings more oxygen into your system, helping you feel energized and focused.
Image courtesy of akeeris / FreeDigitalPhotos.net