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Can Standing an Hour a Day Keep the Doctor Away

            Americans need to get out and get active. That’s a fact, and it is also something that we hear all the time. Life gets busy, that’s part of being an adult, right? Standing for just 3 hours a day, 5 days a week burns 8 pounds of fat per year. When you think about it, that is a wild statistic considering how easy it is to just stand. Problem solved, right? Think again.
            There are quite a majority of occupations that require a desk to perform daily tasks. What do you usually do at a desk? Sit. That is the obvious answer to this seemingly absurd question. With health and wellness booming and technology more advanced than ever, shouldn’t there be a solution to this? A magic pill or shake that can increase longevity and end the constant battle fought with the scale?
            At the Cullman City Parks and Recreation offices we have found a solution, standing desks. At the push of a button we can stand or sit as we please. This is a very neat concept that can be implemented in many office settings. Through our personal experience it has made our employees more productive, and helped those who are kinesthetic learners (individuals who carry out physical activities while learning or performing a task, rather than sitting and listening to demonstrations).
            So what are the benefits? Sitting more than 11 hours a day increases risk of dying prematurely by 40%, whoa. So you don’t sit for 11 hours a day, you are exempt from this statistic? Think again. Just sitting for 8 hours a day increases your chances of premature death by 15%, and 5.3 million deaths occur every year due to inactivity and sedentary lifestyles. Sitting is one of those small daily activities that we perform without even thinking about it. Just by changing up your routine and standing your heart beats 10 times more a minute and over the course of a years that will burn approximately 30,000+ calories, which is the equivalent of running 10 marathons. Unless marathons are a cake walk for you, that’s a pretty impressive!
            If you work in a setting where stand-up desks cannot be implemented, just make small adjustments in your day. Incorporate walking in or around your workplace on breaks, encourage walking meetings when appropriate, or set aside time in your lunch break to go to the gym. The possibilities are endless. Start a conversation with your boss and coworkers about ways to increase physical activity and well-being of employees. Chances are that increased physical activity and well-being will increase productivity and performance, therefore creating a more successful business.

*all statistics and information provided by BBC News and the American College of Sports Medicine

Kayti Persall
Community Wellness Coordinator
Cullman City Parks & Recreation


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