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America,The Land of the Sitting: A Personal View

By HERWriter
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There is no question, we are a sitting generation. In fact, research shows that most Americans spend half their day sitting at their desk or in their cars. For many, the only parts of their body that get a workout are their fingers as they type emails, blog, facebook, tweet, text, etc. Perhaps, you could count your right foot as it moves from the gas to the brake pedal. If you’re one of the few who has a stick shift, you may actually be getting in a little more calorie burn.

I am a firm believer that communication is key, as I am sitting on my derriere writing this article, and I don't mean to preach against the tools of modern communication. But, I also try to implement at least 1.5 hours of exercise in a day, six times a week. I also get a break from sitting as I train clients and teach aerobics. Not all of us are as fortunate to have exercise built into our workday. In fact, I can remember my grandmothers telling stories about how they were 90lbs. (and barely 5 feet tall) in their early 20’s, but spent a great deal of their day walking everywhere they needed to go. My mother did not have a car growing up and she and her sisters walked everywhere. As our society has become much faster paced, we have become more idle and obese.

A new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine actually found that sitting for long periods of time can be harmful, even if you do exercise. My suggestion is to implement some type of activity into your day at least every two hours. You can still work, but don’t hide in a crunched position in your cube all day. Stand up while you’re on the phone, touch your toes, and stretch your arms. If you’re sending out 100 emails a day, move a different body part every 20 emails. Many workplaces also have wellness programs and corporate discounts to health clubs. Partner-up with colleagues for a lunchtime workout or meet them before or after work.

If you have kids, be an example to them and start putting limits on their sitting time, spent on the internet, video games and again Tweeting, texting, etc. Face to face interaction and play is so important.

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HERWriter Guide


Thanks for this great information.

I have to say that I know many, many people who sit pretty much all day and then work out and eat well. Unfortunately, the days of horticulture and agriculture are long gone in most of the western world and people have no option but to take a job (and these days, any job!) that requires sitting, since so much of our work is computer-based (as well as those endless meetings!). I would say much of America, Europe, Australia and other regions have sitting jobs because that what many jobs are nowadays.

I have a question for you - I've noticed lots of commercials/infomercials for back and posture support, mainly for work or working at home on the computer, or even for use in cars.

Do any of these work? Each claim to be the best (of course!) and it's hard to discern one for other other. There are back belts and plastic seats that rise up the back to mainline the spine (at least that's what they say) and well as many others. Do you have any info on the legitimacy of any of these?

January 29, 2010 - 12:44pm

Hi Joanne,
I just found your article.
May I please offer my view ?

January 28, 2010 - 2:43pm
HERWriter (reply to Tommy Kirchhoff)

Yes, I read your theory and find it very interesting. I too believe in correcting imbalances which is why I teach and train on the Pilates Reformer among other fitness disciplines. - Joanne

January 28, 2010 - 2:49pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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