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Dr. Joan Vernikos joined us today to talk about why sitting is so dangerous and how to mitigate the damage caused by sitting too long without movement.
Dr. Vernikos is the author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death — and Exercise Alone Won’t as well as Designed to Move: The Science-Backed Program to Fight Sitting Disease and Enjoy Lifelong Health.
As many of you know sitting is one of the most damaging things you can do as a human. We were not designed to be sedentary for hours upon hours at a time with little to no movement.
We’re designed to constantly be in motion. Human beings were designed to move, not sit.
Sitting has been called the new smoking.
At the end of the show I shared some statistics that might really scare you. If you don’t want to have to wear adult diapers when you’re older with brittle bones, I’d highly recommend a siting/standing/walking strategy that works with your current work production.
Oddly enough after this episode I have been sitting more than I have ever. But I rotate. I set an egg timer on my computer that rings every 30 minutes so I get up, stretch, move and then sit back down again.
The way I work now is I break up my computer time of day into 3 sections. The first third is standing. Then for a third of my production time I sit in the middle of the day.
This might be for a 3 hour time window. During this time I get up every 30 minutes to stretch and move or jump on my Bellicon for a couple of minutes.
Then for the final third of my time I’m standing again.
When I was only standing my feet would get numb from standing too much.
So far this has been a pretty good balance for me and it seems to be working quite well.
It’s also not good to stand too much either. In the future I’m going to get a treadmill desk that will allow me to easily move from walking to standing to sitting without any slow down in productive work.
Dr. Vernikos also is a big proponent of making your exercise routine last all day. So she suggests doing small micro workout all during the day rather than batch them into 60 or 90 minute sessions.
It makes sense to me. What do you think about that?
I hope you enjoy this show with Dr. Joan Vernikos.
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Listen to other shows with this guest.
Dr. Joan Vernikos
Dr. Joan Vernikos is a well-known expert in stress and healthy aging. Since retiring from NASA as Director of Life Sciences following a career there as both a researcher and administrator, she has committed to bringing her knowledge and insights on healthy living to the general public. Published in 2011, her book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness and early Death – and Exercise Alone Won’t, shows how modern sedentary lifestyles contribute to poor health, obesity, and diabetes, and how health can be dramatically improved simply with continuous, low-intensity movement that challenges the force of gravity.
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