Saturday, August 13, 2011

Inactivity Physiology

There is a whole new field of study that has been spawned called inactivity physiology. I am becoming more and more interested in this field. Think about this for a minute. You get up early go for an hour run, drive an hour to and from work. Once you arrive at the office what do you do most of the day? That's right, sit in front of your computer and then sit in meetings most of the day. Well if that is the case then (some) of the benefits derived from your bout of exercise may be erased. Now I know you stressed your body in that hour run, you loaded your bones and muscles and alleviated some stress. This is all good. BUT, what I'm talking about is the sitting for the rest of the day - we all need to work on that. Me too...
Inactivity Physiology defined: (1) 

"Inactivity physiology represents a paradigm shift for how we think about how lifestyle causes disease. Simply put, the inactivity physiology paradigm says that "too little exercise" is not the same as "too much sitting" (physical inactivity) and that too much sitting has very potent effects on the body contributing to the most common diseases."

Try a few of the following to become more active during the day especially while at work:
  • Build a standing work station at the office.
  • Sit on a stability ball part of the day.
  • Kneel periodically at your desk and stretch those tight hip flexors.
  • Get up every 30 min. and move and/or stretch.
  • Take a walk and do some of those errands rather drive.
  • Have walking meetings rather than sitting at a conference table.
  • If you can take a call on your cell - walk and talk.
  • Wear a pedometer and add 2,000 steps today (goal: 10k/day) see Pedersen quote below.
  • This week see if you can stand one hour more/day for the week.
Well, it's time to get up from my desk on this beautiful Saturday morning and go out and move...

"Aerobic capacity fell 7% in 14 days after reducing steps from 10,000 to 1500/day in active men not in exercise programs." (Pedersen, 2008).

Selected Reading:

Too Much Sitting is Hazardous to Your Health. Len Kravitz, PhD *read*
Are We Facing a New Paradigm of Inactivity Physiology? Br J Sports Medicine.
Is Sitting a Lethal Activity? NY Times article by James Vlahos
Genomic Aspects of Exercise, Inactivity, and Health, Frank Booth, PhD
(1) Coca Cola Institute for Health and Wellness

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