The Overlooked Fitness Obstacle
I spend too much time sitting. Waaay too much time sitting. I am always researching, writing, and updating things. My back aches, my feet get swollen, I feel unmotivated and want to eat nothing but refined carbs.
To the rescue is today's expert, Dr. Barry Sears. Dr. Sears is the author of the best-selling books such as "The Zone" and "Enter the Zone." Dr. Sears tells us why sitting for long periods is not good and how getting up from your chair can equal the power of squats.
THE BEST FITNESS TIP?
...is not to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time.
The more one sits, the more the pull of gravity is reduced and muscles begin to atrophy. The most extreme example is under conditions of weightless in which highly trained astronauts come back with dramatically reduced muscle mass and a loss of physical fitness after only a few days in space.
The mere fact of getting out a sitting position 3 or 4 times an hour makes your body work against gravity thus counteracting much of deleterious effects of sitting. In addition, getting out a chair requires using your leg muscles (assuming you are not using the arms of the chair to help get you up).
This means over an 8 hour day you are doing the equivalent of 24 to 32 squats, which is the best possible strength exercise
You gain even further fitness benefits by working standing which forces you to work against gravity continuously. Using a standing desk is a good alternative to always using a standard desk that forces you to sit. Bottom line, the more you force the body to work against gravity (like walking up stairs, walking up an incline, or focusing eccentric contractions very slowly when doing resistance training) the better the results.
In addition the body responds to prolonged sitting by increased insulin resistance and inflammation as reported by Yates et al. in Am J Preventive Medicine 42:1-7 (2012).
Dr. Barry Sears has dedicated the last 30 years of his research career to studying the links between diet, hormones, and health and is dedicated to restoring a state of health which can be controlled by reducing inflammation in your body. In his research, he studies dietary control of hormonal response and develops innovative approaches to help treat and reverse silent inflammation, the leading cause behind cardiovascular disease and Type-2 diabetes. His research had led to his best selling books Enter the Zone, Mastering the Zone, Zone Perfect Meals in Minutes, and had additionally penned The Soy Zone, Anti-Aging Zone, Omega Zone, Toxic Fat, A Week in the Zone, Zone Meals in Seconds and Top 100 Zone Foods.