Who caught this recent headline? “Yes, sitting too long can kill you, even if you exercise

Sounds pretty dire for a lot of us. The article by CNN’s Susan Scutti cites a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that found it doesn’t matter how much you exercise, sitting for long periods of time is a risk factor for early death.

So, it just may not be enough to incorporate regular exercise into our lives. We’re going to have to be more deliberate with our timing. The adults in the study were age 45 and older, and the researchers concluded that guidelines for physical activity should be adjusted to target reducing and interrupting sedentary time.

If you’re already a regular exerciser, keep moving! But if you’re sitting for long periods of time in between, take note. Erica Moe, a certified exercise physiologist who heads fitness programming at Toby Wells Y, suggests trying something different where you spend most of your day — at work.

How about a desk setup that gives you the option to stand? In her Mission Valley News column “Get Fit,” Moe writes: “You don’t have to stand all day to reap health benefits. Reduce blood sugar after lunch by 43 percent by standing 180 minutes. Another option is to alternate between standing and sitting every 30 minutes, which can reduce blood sugar spikes by 11 percent. Compared to sitting, standing for an afternoon burned 170 additional calories, which is almost 1,000 more per week!”

Other resources and ideas:

  • Have a “walking” meeting
  • Stand up or pace when you take a phone call
  • How about a walk break instead of a coffee break?
  • JustStand.org recommends alternating between sitting and standing every 30 minutes for optimum health.
  • Break up your workday with a noontime class at the Y. See BODYPUMP, Pilates, Vinyasa Yoga and Zumba at Copley-Price Family Y, or Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, TRX and Cycling at Mission Valley Y or Cardio Blast, Cycling, Yoga, Core Fit, BODYPUMP and more at Toby Wells Y. See Group Exercise.
  • Now you can stream one of your favorite classes from Les Mills On Demand — available anytime, anywhere. (Y members get a free 30-day trial and a deal if you subscribe)