How a Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Your Health
From an evolutionary (and survival) standpoint, the invention of technology took us very quickly from an active “moving” species to a population that sits an average of 13 hours per day. Add sleeping hours to that and it leaves very few hours, or even minutes, to be active. Inactivity is making us chronically sick and putting a huge burden on our health care system. It’s unfortunately a very sad reality of the world today.
Should I Get a New Pillow and Mattress? Let me sleep on it…
Would you be comfortable sleeping on a sheet of ¾” plywood? Absolutely not, because it would create innumerable pressure points on your skull, elbows, shoulder blades, hips, and heels. It would be nearly impossible to find a comfortable way to lie down and sleep on such a hard, flat, unforgiving surface.
Contrariwise, it can be a painful experience to sleep in a hammock. Oh, it’s certainly more comfortable, but it makes us into an elongated curve. That’s fine for our shoulders and back, but our knees only bend in the opposite direction, and it can hyperextend our necks, so you can wake up with achy legs, and even a headache. Blood flows to your lowest point, your buttocks, decreasing the amount to your brain and feet, too, making the situation worse.
Humans need a relatively level surface upon which to sleep. Even rough ground with the proper rises and depressions makes a good sleeping surface, as our evolutionary ancestors knew well, provided it fitted our body contours.
A bag of straw (or nowadays, raw cotton fiber) makes a futon, one of the earliest mattresses. It has lots of give, conforms to our shape, and even helps prevent excess sweating to increase comfort.
The disadvantage is that it compresses over time, and no amount of “fluffing” will fix it. It needs to be unstitched, emptied and refilled with new material, or replaced entirely.
The modern mattress was placed in a wooden frame bed, and served for many years that way. Steel spring fames replaced that, giving the mattress more flex, allowing more air circulation, extending its life, and making it more comfortable.
Bedframes became passé, when we invented a spring system permanently mounted inside a box frame that perfectly matched the mattress. The box spring set still provided the flex, but added resilience that kept the center from sagging. It was a success and considered the height of luxury.
How to Run Without Damaging Your Body
Running too much, with improper footwear, or with bad form can have damaging and lasting effects on your body. Many people aren’t aware of the negative effects of running when they first start, and don’t educate themselves about how to run safely until it’s too late.
Exercise Won't Offset a Sedentary Lifestyle, But Moving More Will
While many people realize that sitting all day long at work, in the car, and in front of the TV is bad for their health, they just plan to work extra hard at the gym to counteract their otherwise sedentary lifestyle. Well, we have some bad news for you: going to the gym doesn’t cancel out those hours of sitting still.
Protect Your Spine by Optimizing Your Sleeping Position
You can do everything within your power to protect your spine during the day—sit and stand with proper posture, alternate between sitting and standing at your desk, using correct form when lifting weights, and use a backpack instead of a shoulder bag—but your unconscious hours can undo a lot of your hard work. That’s right—your sleeping position at night can have a huge impact on your overall spinal health.
There’s much discussion online about how to get more sleep or to get better, more restful sleep. But you don’t hear as much about how the position you sleep in affects your health, even though a poor sleeping position can cause everything from heartburn to wrinkles—and, of course, neck and back pain. Ever woken up with a stiff neck or a sore back? You can blame your sleeping position.
The position you sleep in at night plays a big role in your spine and neck health. Some positions can help prevent you from developing back problems, while others can help increase comfort if you already suffer from chronic back pain. In fact, according to the Global Burden of Disease study, the most common cause of back pain isn’t serious medical conditions—it’s lifestyle factors, such as awkward sleeping positions!
Read on to learn which sleeping positions are the best for your back—and which are the worst.
GOOD: Sleeping on Your Side With a Pillow
If you sleep on your side already, you can count yourself in good company. The vast majority of people report sleeping on their side. With the weight of popular opinion behind this option, it may come as no surprise that it’s good for your back.
Positioning a pillow between your legs helps to align your spine, hips, and pelv
The Secret to Staying Healthy While Watching TV
After spending all day sitting at your office job, going home to sit for another five hours before TV is incredibly bad for your health. There are several effects binge-watching shows can have on your mental and physical health.
6 Healthy Snacks to Eat While Gaming
Snacking is a favorite pastime for many gamers. It’s thinking food for Civ players and a sweet reward for Rocket League brawlers. There’s nothing like the sweet taste of victory after crushing your opponent or scoring the winning goal. But let’s be real for a second: idle junk food isn’t the way to celebrate.
Carpal Tunnel and You: What Gamers Need to Know
Hey, gamers! Press pause for a second. We need to have a talk about something that none of us really want to talk about: Carpal tunnel syndrome.
That’s right. The wrist thing.
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) all comes down to one nerve in your wrist -- the median nerve, which controls movement and feeling in your thumb and movement in every finger except your pinky. The median nerve runs the full length of the arm, but the part where it passes through the wrist is called the carpal tunnel. When you make repetitive motions with your fingers and wrist, the carpal tunnel can swell.
There’s a lot of buzz around carpal tunnel, especially for gamers, creative types, and workaholics who spend their workdays behind a computer desk studying spreadsheets. (Are our lives really so different?)
Now that you know what carpal tunnel is, here’s a quick walkthrough to help you prevent it.
Study the Art of the Grip
We’ve all been there: You’re deadlocked in a showdown with a dragon in the middle of a six-hour Skyrim session and you haven’t even touched your drink. It happens. We all get sucked in, especially if it’s a good game and we’re having a good time.
Between those action-packed moments, though, when the loading screen pops up or a cinematic takes control out of your hands, take a moment to study the art of the grip. Ease up on the controls a moment, relax your fingers, and do a few wrist exercises.
Remember, swelling in the carpal tunnel is a primary cause for CTS, so do yourself a favor and give your hands and wrists a chance to relax for a minute or two. Thumb through the menu, sort your inventory, or -- if you’re
Tips to Become More Active While Gaming
Let’s face it: gaming isn’t as active as other lifestyles out there. Whether you’re a Tekken pro or a Galaga flying ace, you’re probably not carved like a classic Greek sculpture if you’re spending your time on the couch. That doesn’t mean you have to be in bad shape, though.
Science is pretty serious when they talk about the negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle, and that means that gamers need to be serious about it, too. You don’t have to strap on your boxing gloves and reenact Rocky III, but here are a few tips to become more active while gaming.
Up the Difficulty
Not all games are down to pressing buttons, particularly with the stakes are high and the game is particularly punishing. But then, you’ve got the quiet periods -- those moments when you’re building your base before the Zerg swarm shows up and all hell breaks loose.
In those in-between periods, do yourself a favor and up the difficulty in a different way. Try some seated scissors, some ab squeezes, or even a wall sit. Controllers are wireless these days, so take full advantage. You don’t even need to take your eyes off the screen to get a good workout in.
Stretch It Out
Without a doubt, if you’re a gamer, your wrist is a muscle that could see a bit more stretching. Mouse clicks, keyboard commands, mashed buttons, and swiveling twin-stick shooters are just some of the things that require full-on wrist action. Don’t cut your gaming career short with carpal tunnel or extreme eye strain.
Correcting the Problems Associated with Hazardous Gaming
It’s not uncommon to become fully immersed in a video game, spending long hours into the night, completely losing all sense of time. You’re hunched over, shoulders tense, eyes fixed wholly on the action, giving no care to the goings on around you. Every breath is taken, in sync with that of the movement of your in-game avatar. Then at last, smile takes shape as you finish off what felt like the impossible and achieve the goal you set for yourself, almost 9 hours ago!
How to Escape the Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle?
If you’ve raised or been around young children, you know that they are like energizer bunnies – they keep going, and going, and going. It’s almost impossible to get them to sit still for more than five minutes at a time. They want to bounce right back out of their seat so they can start running or playing or causing havoc again.
We lose that sense of constant momentum as we get older, slowing down year by year until eventually we find ourselves in the working world, where many of us are asked to spend 8-10 hours per day seated at a desk. Scientists characterize this process as “lapsing into a sedentary lifestyle.”
The older we get, the higher our risk of succumbing to a sedentary lifestyle. According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, an alarming 67% of older adults report sitting for 8 or more hours per day, while only 28-34% of adults between 65 to 74 years of age are physically active.
Big deal, you might be thinking. Why does it matter how much time I spend sitting? I have a good job, I provide for my family, I exercise. Well, it is a big deal. In fact, most researchers and health professionals will tell you that sitting is the smoking of our generation. Sedentary lifestyles are to blame for a whole host of associated health problems.
The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle
If you asked most people whether they think they lead a sedentary lifestyle, they would probably say no. The World Health Organization (WHO) would say otherwise. According to the WHO’s definition, people who get less than 90 minutes of physical activity per week qualify as leading a sedentary lifestyle. By that definition, around 60% of the world’s adult population can be said to be sedentary.
And when you lead a sedentary lifestyle, your health is at risk.
Sedentary lifestyles are associated with increa
Surprising Ways Sitting at Your Desk Is Harming Your Health
Remember the good old days when “a cushy desk job” was considered a good thing? Well, today, health experts agree that sitting too long at your desk is not only bad for your waistline, it’s harmful to your overall health. So, what can you do if your job has you deskbound for six or more hours a day?
Well, before we get into that, let’s first take a look at some of the shocking ways your desk job could be compromising your health.
- Neurological Risks: Several studies have linked a sedentary lifestyle to brain damage and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In one UCLA study, published by the scientific journal PLOS earlier this year, researchers discovered that sedentary middle-aged and older adults developed thinning in the areas of the brain linked to memory. Even more disturbing than that finding is the fact that high levels of exercise did not seem to undo the negative effects of sitting too much.
- Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Premature Death: People who spend more than half of their waking day sitting down have a higher risk of developing heart disease and diabetes and may even die sooner than their more active counterparts according to a 2015 study published by the Annals of Internal Medicine. In another study, researchers found that for every hour participants sat each day, on average, they had a 14 percent increase in their coronary artery calcification burden—an early marker of coronary artery disease.
- Increased Neck & Shoulder Pain: If you suffer from neck and shoulder pain when sitting for long periods at your desk, you are not alone. One Danish study of blue collar workers found that “more sitting ti
New Research Finds Connection Between Sitting and Dementia
We already know that sitting too much is bad for our bodies. Sedentary lifestyles (sitting for 10+ hours per day) lead to physical maladies such as back and joint pain, cardiovascular disease, weight gain and obesity, increased risk for cancer, slower metabolism, higher risk for diabetes, and early mortality. But new research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) illuminates another consequence of too much sitting: our cognitive healthy.
In a preliminary study, UCLA researchers found that among adults aged 45-75 without dementia, those who spend more time sitting during the day had increased thinning of the medial temporal lobe – the area of the brain responsible for making new memories. As for many physical consequences of so-called “sitting disease,” the study found that even high levels of physical activity did not mitigate the negative effects of sitting.
This study joins a growing body of research that suggests a link between sedentary behavior and the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. It has been estimated that as much as 13% of global Alzheimer’s cases can be traced to excessive sitting. That means if we reduce sedentary behavior by even 25%, we could prevent more than 1 million new cases of Alzheimer’s disease each year worldwide.
However, it won’t be as simple as just increasing the amount of physical activity people get. In the UCLA study, the researchers found no correlation between medial temporal lobe thickness and physical activity. What they did find was that people who led more sedentary lifestyles had thinner medial temporal lobes.
While the study did not investigate the mechanisms by which sitting negatively impacts brain health, the researchers speculate that sitting has an adverse effect on glycemic control. Excessive sitting results in increase variability of blood sugar,
Prevent Cardiovascular Disease With a Sit-Stand Desk
The average American adults spends over 12 hours sedentary (sitting down) every day. All that sitting contributes to increased weight gain, poor circulation, and slow metabolism—all of which combine to increase your risk for cardiovascular disease by a staggering amount. According to research reported by JustStand.org, as many as 30% of ischemic heart disease cases can be attributed to sedentary lifestyles, and people who are active have a 45% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
While previous generations naturally walked and stoof more due to the nature of work and society, many of our daily routines now revolve around sedentary positions. With the era of the internet came an increasingly deskbound workforce with computer-based jobs, for which many of us spend up to two hours a day commuting to and from by car. After work is no better, with many families gathering around the television for an evening of Netflix rather than going for a walk or playing in the backyard.
It seems our modern world has fated us to live increasingly sedentary lives, dooming us to the creeping threat of cardiovascular disease—or has it?
Research suggests that standing or walking for even 15 minutes every hour can make a significant difference in warding off the symptoms of sitting disease, which are a slippery slope to cardiovascular problems. But 15 minutes an hour adds up to two full hours during an eight-hour workday. How do you take two hours a day away from your work to stand or stretch your legs? You don’t! Ergonomic office furniture like standing desks or sit-stand workstations allow you to get your daily dose of standing without interrupting your work.
As sit-stand workstations become increasingly popular, there are more and more models available in
How do desk bikes reduce falling of seniors?
Falls are the leading reason for emergency room visits and hospital admissions among the elderly, and the primary cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries. Not only do falls pose a risk to a senior’s safety, but they also carry financial and quality of life consequences. In 2014, the financial toll of falls was $31 billion. As the population continues to age, that number is expected to increase to over $60 billion by 2020.
Fear of falling can lead seniors to withdraw from hobbies and social commitments in order to avoid a potential fall. However, withdrawal from the activities of life can actually result in an increased physical decline, social isolation, and depression. Someone who has previously suffered a fall may experience decreased mobility and confidence afterward, which will likewise limit their ability to participate in social activities and favorite hobbies.
To put the risks of falling into perspective:
- 1 in 4 Americans age 65+ falls each year
- Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the ER for a fall
- Every 19 minutes, a senior dies from fall-related injuries
- Falls account for over 800,000 hospital admissions and 27,000 deaths every year
- 2.8 million fall-related injuries are treated in emergency departments annually
- Two-thirds of seniors who fall will do so again within six months
- Among adults age 65-69, 1 in 200 falls results in a hip fracture (1 in 10 for adults over 85)
- After a fall, 47% of non-injured adults cannot get up again without assistance
Clearly, falls are a serious health and safety concern facing our elderly population. But what can we do to help decrease the rate of falls among seniors? Aside from evidence-based falls prevention programs, which are being implemented in many
Why You Should Be Using Standing Desks for Gaming
Most of the time when people discuss the benefits of standing desks or sit-stand desks, they talk about them in the context of a professional office environment. But people who spend time at their desk for recreational purposes can also benefit from switching to a standing desk.
Avid PC gamers may spend hours a day at their desk, competing against virtual foes, leveling up, and completing quests. They are just as vulnerable to the ill-effects of sitting for long periods of time as office workers are – and they stand to benefit just as greatly from using standing desks for gaming.
Maybe the idea of using a standing desk for your PC gaming sounds silly at first, but if you start looking into the many benefits of using a sit-stand desk for gaming, you’ll see that a standing desk will make a big improvement to your gaming setup.
Here are some of the reasons why standing desks for gaming are so beneficial:
Enhanced focus and engagement in the game.
When you’ve been sitting for long periods of time, you start to experience restlessness, discomfort, and muscle tension. These feelings can be a huge distraction from your gaming. You might try fidgeting to get more comfortable, but it’s hard to do without getting up, which would require pausing the game.
A standing desk allows you to stand, move
Tips for people who want to switch to standing desk
Sitting is a new smoking. Sitting is killing us. To some extent, these words are a little bit biased. However, to those who work nine to five, they may suffer from long time sitting work. Even worse, if people do not spend time doing some exercise. The sitting problem can be a big problem. But what if we don’t have time for gym? You can do some light exercise during your daily work, for example, don’t sitting too much time and move more during your work day. But of course, you and your body itself shall make an adjustment before you get used in using a standing desk. Here are some tips you may consider if you want to switch to a standing desk converter or height adjustable desk.
D – o some research
E – xperiment, Examine, Evaluate
S – acrifice
K – now your posture
1. Before anything else, do some research about standing desk, i.e. what is standing desk? Which standing desk is best for you? What are the benefits of a standing desk? What else do I need if you switch to a standing desk? And to sum it up, is it all worth it to use a standing desk?
You can’t just gamble a penny if it’s not worth it, right? So, I strongly suggest to know more about the product and make sure that it’s convenient for you and your health too!
2. Once you already know the answers to your questions about the product, why not experiment before trying an actual standing desk? Create your own DIY standing desk! Keep in mind that it’s only for a short of time cause maybe you’ll need those things you stacked up to build that DIY standing desk of yours.
“Nothing else can teach us better th
4 Reasons a Sit-Stand Desk Is the Perfect Gift for Mom
Perfume, flowers, and a warm-and-fuzzy greeting card are the go-to gifts for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, they don’t show that you put a lot of thought into honoring the woman who gave you life. How about this year you try something new that lets mom know you didn’t run to the mall at the last minute?
What Every Working Mom Needs
If she’s like 57 percent of women in America, your mom’s a working woman. That means she likely spends eight hours a day sitting at a desk. Research shows that type of inactivity simply isn’t good for her health. Some well-intentioned people mistakenly believe that switching to a standing desk is the answer to mom’s problem. But, standing all day comes with its own set of ailments like aching muscles, varicose veins, back pain and lower limb swelling.
What mom really needs is a flexible solution that lets her easily toggle between sitting and standing throughout the workday. That’s where you come in. Here are 4 loving reasons, you should consider surprising mom with a sit-stand desk this Mother’s Day:
- Boosts Her Mood and Energy Levels
Sitting all day can quickly zap the energy from even the most engaged and motivated working mom. After all, our bodies were made to move. By using a sit-stand desk, your mom can switch things up activity-wise to get her blood flowing and improve her mood. This was proven in a 7-week study where participants were given a sit-stand device and asked to report the impact it had on their general well-being. The results were impressive: 62% percent felt happier, 71% felt more focused, and 33% felt less stressed while using the sit-stand device.
- Lowers Her Risk of Weight Gain
You probably know that standing burns more calories than sitting. But, did you know your mom can burn up to 10 pounds of fat a year just by standing 2 additional hours each day? Ca
Weight Training: Better Posture Starts in The Gym
Weight training is having a bit of a renaissance. While cardio had a heyday for a few years (just look at the spinning craze), fitness classes centered around strength and resistance training have been steadily growing in popularity. Cardio may be good for burning calories, but you need weight training in order to get the defined muscle tone many of us hope for when we hit the gym.
If you’ve been skipping the weights because you’re concerned about “bulking up,” you’re missing out. The benefits of weight lifting go far beyond muscle definition.
Weight lifting benefits include:
- Higher resting metabolism
- Reduced risk for osteoporosis
- Improved sleep quality
- Enhanced mental clarity
- Lower stress levels
- Better posture
- Reduced back pain
It’s true — weight lifting can improve your posture and reduce or prevent chronic back pain! Lifting weights strengthens your back, shoulder, and core muscles, which are all essential to standing with proper posture and preventing lower back pain. Considering that half of all American adults experience back pain symptoms each year and 80% will develop back pain at some point in their lifetime, we would all benefit from lifting weights.
However, weight lifting does come with a warning: You can do more harm than good if you don’t practice correct posture while lifting. Too many people hit the gym without proper training, and as a result they use poor form and develop bad habits that will cause pain and even injury over time.
Avoid these common weight lifting mistakes to prevent injury:
- Overtraining- Doing too many reps during a single lifting session