How To Counteract A Sedentary Work Life (Studies Show Women Exercise Half As Much As Men)

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Increase the amount of exercise in your life without taking extra time out of your day. By Steve Bordley (CEO, TrekDesk Treadmill Desks)

Studies show that exercise alone cannot undue the health damages of sedentary office environment.

The journal of Preventative Medicine at Oregon State University shows an alarming disparity of exercise between men and women. The study points out the need for new solutions.

The health message that seems to be escaping American men and women is that a daily trip to the gym is not enough to counteract the debilitating effects of sedentary lifestyles. Continual movement throughout the day is much more effective in restoring health and assisting in weight loss.

Here are some suggestions to regain your health and increase the amount of exercise in your life without taking extra time out of your day:

  1. Re-design your work life. If your employer allows it, add a treadmill desk. If not lobby for a standing desk which will force you to move during the day.
  2. Re-think your home habits. Chances are most of won’t put a treadmill or recumbent bike into our living rooms however we can change our sedentary habits - sit on the floor and stretch rather than the couch. Alternate with calisthenics such as free squats, jumping jacks, push-ups and planks on the hour.
  3. Extend your walks. Take the stairs, park farther from the stores when shopping, look for excuses to move in the office.
  4. Track your steps along with your calories, cholesterol, and blood pressure. A great product to do track you steps, calories and even monitor your sleep is the FitBit.
  5. Get eight hours of sleep!

Because women accumulate an average of only 18 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day, compared to 30 minutes for men, the study authors noted that a women’s odds of developing metabolic syndrome are increased: "Those who get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day are less likely to be depressed, less likely to have high cholesterol and less likely to have metabolic syndrome."

How much less likely? Not much, according to a number of studies published in the past year.

A study just this week from Finland showed that an emphasis needs to be made on the amount of time spent sitting as well as the amount of time dedicated toward exercise. 30 minutes of exercise though beneficial will have no impact on the health risks inflicted on a population that spends on average 70% of their waking hours immobile.

Although regular exercise has well defined and chronicled health benefits, prolonged daily sedentary periods cause a number of major health risks despite previous physical activity during the day. So get started re-designing your work life to include some exercise!

Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Steve Bordley is the Inventor and CEO of TrekDesk Treadmill Desks. Designed to fit any existing treadmill, the TrekDesk treadmill desk is an affordable, full sized, height adjustable workstation that allows individuals the opportunity to gain the necessary amount of exercise daily to maintain health, prevent disease, strengthen muscles, boost mood and productivity, without requiring additional time during the day or extra motivation.