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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

October 10, 2017 - 8:02am -- Anonymous

The beauty of fall is all around us, but how many hours do you get to be outside to enjoy it?  I’m on a committee to plan a professional development conference in November and one of the program goals, really got my attention.  I love to learn new things and I really enjoy conferences, but the part I don’t like is how much time is spent in a chair.  Here are some facts they sent, so we could consider alternative options, I found them really interesting. 

The average American spend about 7.7 hours a day sitting.  That includes work time, commute time and relaxing time at home in the evening.  That sedentary lifestyle has been shown to be costly for us and for our employers, and the study from Vanderbilt University titles it “Sitting Disease”.  Medical professionals have begun to refer to long periods of inactivity as the “sitting disease” and it indicates that those who sit for long periods of time have an increased risk of disease.  Sitting for prolonged periods can compromise metabolic health. 

The 2010 American Cancer Society followed 123,216 individuals from 1993-2006 and they found that women  who were inactive and sat over 6 hours a day were 94% more likely to die during the time period studied than those who were physically active and sat less than 3 hours a day

Men who were inactive and sat over 6 hours daily were 48% more likely to die than their standing counterparts.  Here’s a startling fact, these findings were independent of physical activity levels, meaning that the effects of sitting were just as strong in people who exercised regularly. 

What does standing do?  By being on your feet a little more each day tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow, ramps up metabolism and burns extra calories.  How do I stand more?

1.Walk more at work: Park your car farther away from your building; use stairs not elevators; take a long route to the restroom or mail room.  Plan breaks to get up and move every 30 minutes.

2.While computing, set a timer to remind you to stand up and stretch every half hour; take this time to pick-up and clean your work area.

3.Stand up when you talk on the phone.

4.Don’t send emails if the recipient is near; walk over and talk to him or her.

5.When watching TV, lose the remote; get up to change the channels.  Stand or stretch during commercials

With your family at home, set limits for screen time (TV, computers and games). Be selective with the viewing for family time.  Think about all the activities that could be done as a family, see if any of these ideas might sound like fun:

Tour a local Orchard, pick apples and make your favorite fall recipe.

Pick a pumpkin at a local market or patch.  During this time talk about how they grow and where food is grown.

Go on a hike, or a scavenger hunt where you can look for seeds, nuts, or matching leaves.

Whatever you choose, take time to enjoy your family this fall.