If you start sitting around more, chances are that you will soon start binge-watching to pass the time. And both — a sedentary lifestyle and binge-watching — are some of the most unhealthy habits to acquire.
Research has linked longer durations of television viewing to obesity, diabetes and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The hazards of sedentary behaviour can be reduced by taking frequent breaks from sitting and increasing light activity throughout the day. Sedentary lifestyle has also been linked to accelerated ageing and cancer, while binge-watching is linked to blood clots.
What the study shows
The recent study conducted by the University of Turku on people undergoing retirement transition shows how it can influence habits, time use and the amount of sitting during free time.
During the transition period, the researchers found that the daily amount of sitting increased on average from four and a half to six hours, and the time used for television viewing increased particularly. Sitting increased especially among women and those who had been sitting a great deal at work, had a low physical activity level, and who suffered from sleep difficulties, mental disorders or poor health before retirement, said lead author Tuija Leskinen.
The research results suggest that there might be risk groups among those retiring that are more likely to increase the amount of sitting after their retirement transition. However, objective measurements of sedentary behaviour are still needed to confirm the results, Leskinen stated. The study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.
What to do
Gaurav Dawar, Fitness Expert and CEO of FlabThugs, lists some easy workouts to help you get active, pretty much anywhere:
* Move your toes by lifting them while keeping your heels firmly on the ground; it works very well while seated.
* Most of the football players practise rapidly tapping their feet in place, simulating a run. You can also do the same thing while seated, for 30 seconds at a go.
* While sitting in your chair, lift your left leg a few inches off of the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and hold the position as long as you are comfortable.
* Do leg extensions exercise while sitting in your chair, extend your right leg until it is level with your hip and hold as long as you are comfortable and then relax it. Do it the same for left leg.
* Just pull your shoulders as high as you can and roll them forward and backward ten times throughout the day. This is a shoulder shrug exercise.
* Your fingers are busy in typing on computers in that case make fists, spread your fingers and bend your fingers.
* You can also raise your shoulder to your ear, hold and then relax. Repeat with the alternating shoulders.
* Also try abdominal stretch while sitting on the edge of your chair and stretch both your arms out in front. At the same time, keep your back straight, contract your abdominal muscles. Relax and repeat the same.
* Neck rotation is very important when sitting for long. Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.