The studies just keep rolling in to make it clear that too much sitting is a giant risk factor for diseases of all kinds…in fact virtually everything that worries us. I list a lot of benefits of movement in this article: 16 Reasons to Exercise + Tips. (I just added links to studies on Alzheimer’s disease and improving breast cancer treatment.)
I generally do try to practice what I preach, but activity is hard when what I do most of the time is one way or another on the computer. Walking on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes a day and going to the gym twice a week was just not making up for all the sitting. So, I started using a standing desk part of the time as an experiment. As you can see, it was a pretty tacky affair made from a cardboard file storage box and a piece of fiber board. However, I used it often enough that I decided to buy a real one–an adjustable model that I saw in an airline magazine.
This looks better, right? And it is more versatile because I can adjust the height to quickly go back to sitting when I tire. While I stand I try to wiggle a bit and suck in my middle to work on the core strength.
I also wondered how much I do move around and so when I was headed to a trade show in California, I asked husband Bill if I could borrow the Fitbit I had given him for Christmas. This activity and sleep tracker is worn around the wrist all the time. (It is even shower-proof). I found that a natural products trade show is very good exercise (but you can get in trouble snacking on the samples). About the second day the thing started flashing lights at me and vibrating. That startled me and I thought that I had broken it. However, it was just telling me was that I had exceeded the 10,000 step goal for the day. Wow, that is a lot of walking! I see reports on my cell phone and I’m often surprised to see that I might have walked 1,000 steps before breakfast or that on a day when I was on the treadmill I still only did 5,000. I am being motivated to park further away when I run errands and to go with Bill on the dog walks. Sadly, Fitbit doesn’t seem to give me credit for standing while I type.
The sleep monitoring utility is also very interesting and useful. It shows not just how much time I was asleep, but also how much tossing and turning I did. I can see that I sleep better when I eat better and take my magnesium at bed time. (And probably even better after I stop worrying about Natural HealthFest.) There are other Fitbit models that include watches and more brands, but I’m not familiar with them.