Is The Chair Your Worst Enemy?

The evidence is in — your chair is your worst enemy. Many office employees sit in a chair for more than 12 hours each day. They get up in the morning, drive to work, sit all day long at their desks, drive home, eat dinner, watch TV and surf the Internet before going to sleep in their comfortable beds. This degree of excess sitting is not what our bodies need. Studies in agricultural communities, where people move naturally, argue that our bodies are made to move all day and only use a chair for a well-deserved rest. People were never designed to be crammed into chairs: sitting all day long is lethal.

Lethal sitting is associated with many chronic disease and conditions — diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease,cancer, and depression, to name only a few. Here are 4 tips for escaping your chair bondage:

1. Know what makes you more likely to sit, and plan an alternative.

Where sitting stimuli are likely to appear, make alternative arrangement easily accessible and preferable. That means informing your colleagues and managers that from now on, your Monday morning meetings will be “walk and talk.” It also means putting a sticky note reminder on your phone to notify you that every time you get texts or a call, you will get up and out of your chair. As well, bring the treadmill from the basement and put it in front of the TV.


2. Keep track of your progress.

One of the more useful ways to reverse an addiction is to self-monitor. There are a number of devices and apps to assist you with it. Activity tracking apps are free. Unfortunately, Many people get bored with self-monitoring once they see improvement. Our tech specialists suggest that use your self-tracker app or device for a few weeks at time to make sure that you’re on the right path and that you are progressing rather than regressing.


3. Train your thought patterns to stop being so hard on yourself.
I have heard this from clients who are overweight, “I feel so bad when I go out,” or, “I feel ugly.” The reality is that this is ALL said by your internal voice. You must stop putting yourself down. If you don’t love yourself, why should anyone else love you? Stick a pitchfork in that negative voice and toss it away. Get up, look at yourself in the mirror (yes, do it), smile and get out there and live life — vibrantly.

4. Get social support.
Social support is the final weapon to beating this addiction. I cannot count the number of times by family, friends, colleagues or even strangers have lifted me up. If you are having trouble getting up, look for a friend to help you. If you see someone struggling to get up, help them.

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