The average American is sitting too much and not exercising enough, says a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This sedentary behavior has been shown to have a potentially devastating effect on health and longevity.
The study used data from the most recent 2015-16 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of about 5,900 adults, which include both interviews and physical examinations. The results showed that nearly 25% of adults reported sitting for six to eight hours or more each day and not getting enough exercise.
In contrast, the healthiest group represents the smallest – just under 3% of the adults said they sit for less than four hours per day and are sufficiently active. Overall, these patterns were consistent between men and women, but extended sitting combined with too little activity increased with age.
“Both high sedentary behavior and physical inactivity have negative health effects,” the authors of the study said. “And evidence suggests that the risk of premature mortality is particularly elevated when they occur together.”
The study shows American’s need help moving more throughout their day. Right now, the CDC’s exercise guidelines recommend that adults do moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for two hours and 30 minutes every week, plus muscle strengthening activities on two or more days a week. Experts also recommend taking a brisk walk every 30 minutes of sitting.
It’s not always easy to take breaks every thirty minutes during your work day and keeping up with a regular exercise schedule can also be tough. One easy way to counteract the negative affects from sitting too much is to switch to a motion office chair, like swopper.
When you sit on a swopper you bounce, tilt and sway so your body is constantly in motion. This keeps your muscles engaged, your circulation flowing and your posture correct. This subtle, unconscious movement helps protect us from the health risks that come with an office job.
Whether you commit to breaks every thirty minutes or switch to sitting on a motion chair, this study shows it is imperative to prioritize movement throughout your day.
Look around your home or your office. How many chairs do you see? There was a time when sitting was a pretty rare occurrence. We spent much of our day moving – hunting, farming, walking to town etc. Now the average American sits 10+ hours per day.
It may seem alarmist to think that something as innocuous as sitting could harm our health, but more and more research is showing just how risky our sedentary lifestyles can be. The fact of the matter is our bodies are not meant to stay stationary all day. We are meant to move!
While it’s not always possible to create a lifestyle that supports movement, you can give your health the benefit of movement by choosing the right chair. When you ditch the standard stationary office chair for an ergonomic motion chair, like swopper, you unlock a plethora of health benefits including the below.
- Better posture and a stronger back
When you sit on a swopper, you are naturally encouraged to have perfect posture. Swopper keeps you moving in three dimensions. This frequent change of movement causes you to adopt new posture and sit up straight more often. The movement also has the effect of strengthening your back muscles.
- Increased circulation
Sitting a swopper causes you to sit up straighter, which frees your diaphram and makes you breathe more deeply. This results in a boost to circulation. The swopper chair is ideal for anyone who suffers from vein issues.
- More focus and performance
When circulation is increased, so is our blood flow to the brain. This helps us stay alert, focused and have the ability to concentrate longer.
- Lower risk of heart disease, cancer and premature death
Research has showed that sitting for too long causes increased risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer and can even lead to early death. When you sit on a motion office chair, you reduce your risk by incorporating movement into your day.
- Improved joint health and reduced risk of arthritis
Moving your joints stimulates the formation of synovia (joint fluid). This helps to lubricate the joints. Nature has built our body to use our joints slightly all the time. This tightens the ligaments and tendons, which helps us avoid joint diseases like arthritis.
These are just some of the ways sitting on the right office chair can improve your overall health. When you take the leap into sitting in motion, you are choosing to prioritize your health in all facets of your life. Swopper is the perfect chair to get your body moving and feeling great while you work.
A new study out of Cleveland Clinic in the journal JAMA Network Open has some shocking results. The study, which looked at treadmill stress tests on more than 122,000 patients showed that being sedentary led to a higher mortality rate than having diabetes, smoking or heart disease.
The study looked at treadmill stress tests among people who ranged from being sedentary and unfit, to extremely fit. They found that sedentary participants had a 390% higher risk of death when compared to those who exercised regularly. When compared to those in the “extremely fit” category, the risk jumped to 500%.
Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and senior author of the study told CNN, “We all know that a sedentary lifestyle or being unfit has some risk. But I’m surprised they overwhelm even the risk factors as strong as smoking, diabetes or even end-stage disease. People who do not perform very well on a treadmill test,” Jaber said, “have almost double the risk of people with kidney failure on dialysis.”
If you live a lifestyle that is sedentary, meaning you spend much of your time sitting, then this study should be a major wake up call to get moving. One of the hardest places to implement movement into your lifestyle is at the workplace.
When your job requires you to be at a desk in front of a computer for at least eight hours a day, it can feel like you are chained to the very sedentary lifestyle you are trying to avoid. The good news is there are ways to combat the “sitting disease” without changing your job.
Utilizing a motion office chair, like a swopper or 3Dee, allows you to move in three dimensions while you work. When you bounce, tilt and sway while you work, your body is never in a sedentary position. Your risk from sedentary behaviors drops dramatically.
Researchers agree that incorporating movement into your lifestyle is the best way to stave off health issues. When you combine sitting in motion at work with a regular fitness plan, you are ensuring that you are doing your part to keep optimal health.
For many of us, we have a hit or miss relationship with exercise. We know it’s good for our bodies to be physically active, but actually motivating ourselves on a regular basis to hit the gym is another story.
We may have the best intentions to be physically active, develop a plan to workout and then struggle to get motivated to actually complete the workout. Most blame a lack of time, facilities to workout at or having the energy, but a new study has shown that it may actually be how our brains are wired that is holding us back.
A revolutionary study out of the Journal of Neuropsychologia, has shown that we may be wired to prefer inactivity over exercise. Researchers claim this shows that even when people know that exercise is good for them and plan to work out, electrical signals within their brains may be nudging them toward being sedentary.
The study involved 29 young and healthy men and women who claimed to want to exercise, but didn’t often. After fitting the volunteers with a special cap that monitored their brain activity, they walked them through an elaborate computer test designed to probe how they felt about exercise.
They were shown images of stick figure engaging in either active activities like hiking or running, or passive activities like laying in a hammock. The volunteers all consciously were drawn to the active stick figures over the passive ones, but what happened in their brains subconsciously told a different story.
According to the results of the electrical brain activity, the volunteer’s brains were more easily drawn to the sedentary images, especially in parts of the brain related to preventing actions. The effort it took our brains to move towards the images of hammocks or couches was much slighter than the active images, showing that those images resonated more easily with our brains.
“To me, these findings would seem to indicate that our brains are innately attracted to being sedentary,” says Matthieu Boisgontier, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada told the New York Times.
But we also can consciously choose to move, he says, despite what our brains may think.
An easy way to overcome your brain’s bias toward being sedentary is to condition it to experience movement naturally all day long. When you sit on a motion office chair, like swopper or 3dee, you are constantly moving in all three dimensions – up and down, back and forth and side to side. At first the movement may feel jarring to the brain, but quite quickly it becomes subconscious and second nature.
Also when you are moving all throughout your day, you ease some of the pressure to make up for a sedentary lifestyle by spending hours at the gym. All of the health issue associated with being sedentary are drastically reduced when you’re sitting in motion all throughout the day.
If you’re one of those people who has the best intentions, but struggles to actually get to the gym regularly, changing out your static office chair with a swopper may help you incorporate movement into your life without having to fight with how your brain is wired.
Our modern world comes with many benefits. We no longer have to search and hunt for our food, many of us are able to make an income using our minds vs our bodies, and traveling long distances on foot to communicate with others is now down with the press of a button. All our technological advances have helped us live with more ease, but have not necessarily helped our overall health.
In fact, the ease we experience in our modern lifestyle has led us to spend much of our time sitting or laying still. Gone are the days where we moved and worked our bodies all day in order to survive. So what’s so wrong with sitting, you might wonder?
Well studies have shown that sitting more than half the day, regardless of how much exercise people got otherwise, was associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality. Those spending more than 12.5 hours of sedentary time per day with bout duration of more than 10 minutes had the highest risk for all-cause mortality.
The average American works 10 hours a day. Factor in time spent sitting while you eat, watching tv, reading or other leisure activities, and you can easily see how someone could sit 12+ hours per day.
Here are five ways sitting too long can destroy your health:
1. It increases your risk of heart disease. Researchers compared the incident of heart disease among workers who mostly sit and those who are more active. They found that those that sat were about twice as likely to get heart disease as those that moved.
2. You are more likely to get diabetes. Prolonged sitting has been shown to change the way your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that helps it burn sugar and carbs for energy. This results in an increase in diabetes and metabolic disorder.
3. Your more likely to become obese. If you spend a lot of time sitting, digestion is not as efficient, so you retain those fats and sugars as fat in your body. Leading a sedentary lifestyle has a direct correlation with an increase in your waistline.
4. It may cause cancer. Studies have shown that people who spend more hours of the day sitting have up to a 66% higher risk of developing certain types of cancer than those who aren’t as sedentary.
5. You’re more likely to die early. A recent study has shown that people who say for long periods of time with a higher risk of death from all causes, including cancer, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, suicide, lung disease, liver disease, peptic ulcer and other digestive disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nervous disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders.
So how does one keep up with our modern lifestyle while also preserving their health? The best way is to break up all that sitting with movement throughout the day. One small change, like switching your traditional office chair for a motion chair, can mean the difference between poor health and optimal health.
Swopper, 3Dee and Muvman are the perfect solution for anyone looking to sit in motion. The near-constant three dimensional movement means your body is always moving up, down, side to side and back and forth. This small, effortless movement virtually eliminates the risks associated with sitting.
We may not be able to change how much sitting our modern lifestyle requires, but we can adapt to this lifestyle and find new ways to support our bodies need for movement.
In nearly every article or study about the negative health effects of prolonged sitting, experts suggest taking a five minute walking break every 30 minutes of sitting. The thought is that frequent breaks disrupt the ill effects caused by sitting like poor circulation, diabetes, heart disease and more.
If the average American works 10 hours a day, that advice results in 17 five minute breaks per day for a total “break time” of 85 minutes. While disrupting sitting time with walking breaks may improve health outcomes, it can take it’s toll on productivity, which may cause us to actually have to work even more hours.
And if we’re being realistic, it’s unlikely most office workers are regimented about taking these breaks. When you’re in a meeting or in a flow state on a project, it’s easy to see how those breaks can be pushed to the wayside.
The good news is modern ergonomics and engineering making it possible for office workers to reap the benefits of moving their bodies without the forced “break schedule” to worry about.
When you use an ergonomic motion chair like swopper, your body stays slightly in motion all day. It is a subconscious movement that doesn’t disrupt your concentration or work flow. In fact, it helps improve concentration and performance by optimizing circulation, oxygen intake and muscular comfort.
Sitting in motion means effortlessly achieving all the health benefits of movement without the mental load of leaving your work to take regular walks. Your posture is naturally aligned, your muscles are loose and any previous back pain is diminished.
If you’re worried about what sitting all day is doing to your body, yet struggle with keeping a strict “break” schedule, using the right ergonomic office chair may be the missing link to achieving optimal health with excellent work performance.
We know prolonged sitting can lead to increases in mortality from heart disease, diabetes and even cancer, but a new study sheds light on important organ that suffers from too much sitting … your brain.
The small study, which was published in June in the Journal of Applied Physiology, showed that blood flow to the brain decreased after 2-4 continuous hours. When blood flow is decreased to the brain in the short term, it can cause foggy thinking and decreased memory. If you sit for most of the day, as many American’s do, the long term risks to your . brain could be dire, leading to neurodegenerative diseases like dementia.
For the study, scientists found a group of men and women who work jobs that require them to sit for much of the day. They had study participants wear special headbands that tracked the blood flow through their middle cerebral arteries to their brains.
Participants then simulated a typical work day by sitting at a computer or desk for several hours without getting up, except to use the bathroom. Researchers found that prolonged sitting without meaningful breaks, led to a decline in blood flow to the brain.
When participant took a two minute walking break every thirty minutes, their blood flow did not go down. They hypothesized that frequent movement during the work day – at least every 30 minutes – would prevent the negative affects on the brain.
The hard part for most working Americans though is stopping what you’re working on every thirty minutes to go take a walk. It’s downright impossible when you’re stuck in the conference room for a long meeting. These interruptions can reduce concentration, work performance and productivity.
So how can you keep blood flow to your brain optimal without having to break your work flow? A motion chair like swopper or 3Dee keeps your body slightly in motion all throughout the day. This means you can move while you work and not have to stress about taking a break every thirty minutes.
In fact, swopper doesn’t just keep your blood flow from reducing, it actually boosts blood flow. Sitting on the swopper chair . makes you straighten the upper part of your body. This frees the diaphragm so that you breathe deeper, the supply of oxygen to the blood is improved and your circulation is stimulated.
When you move from a static office chair to a motion chair, you are more alert, concentrate better and have optimal performance.
If you’re on a quest to live longer and better, a new study says you may want to think about how you are sitting at work. Researchers at Australia’s Deakin University recently completed a study that showed standing at work could increase life expectancy.
The study involved a group of 231 desk-bound workers aged between 24 and 65. The study participants were given sit-stand desks at the workplace, as well as health coaching. The results showed that the introduction of a standing workspace caused participants to sit on average one hour a day less than before.
With the plethora of studies showing how sitting too much causes a myriad of health issues, researchers concluded that the introduction of standing workspaces into Australia’s workforce would save 7,492 “health adjusted life years” by preventing a range of obesity-related diseases.
Once hinderance to jumping into the standing desk set up is the growing concerns about how standing all day is also not great for your health. Researchers say standing for prolonged periods can lead to an increase risk of heart disease.
So how can you safely incorporate standing into your work day? And what is truly the healthiest way to work? Studies show transitional sitting, or moving between sitting, standing and perching, to be the overall healthiest way to work.
The easiest way to achieve this style of working is through a height adjustable desk and height adjustable chair. Muvman is the ultimate transitional sitting chair. It easily adjusts your sitting height to anywhere between 20 – 33″, which allows you to sit, perch or stand throughout your day. The Muvman chair also incorporates slight movement forward and back, to keep your body movements loose and fluid.
You can reap the benefits of a standing desk without worrying about the adverse health affects from too much standing by adapting your space to accommodate sitting and standing. With the right desk and the right ergonomic stool, you will have mastered the art of sitting for your health.
Recently we received a comment on Facebook from someone who saw a video of the swopper chair and was confused…
We know it can sound counter intuitive … the best chair for my back pain is one without a back? When your back is aching, the idea of not having a chair back to lean against can seem like an impossible way to work. However, the truth is the more you rely on a back support, the weaker your back muscles get and the more likely you are to experience back pain.
Here are the main reasons why sitting on a motion chair with no back support, like swopper, is actually best for your back.
Strengthen Your Muscles. When you sit on a swopper chair, your body is constantly in motion. This means almost all muscle groups remain engaged and well supplied with blood. This movement has the affect of strengthening your core and back muscles, which helps you achieve better posture. When you are sitting in motion, it’s nearly impossible to tense up and cause back pain.
Maintain Perfect Posture. With swopper there is no reason to hunch your back and lean forward, the joint in the spring strut permits the swopper chair to tilt towards your working surface. This means you no longer need to hunch your back and your spine retains its natural S shape.
Keep Joints Moving Well. Moving on your swopper has the affect of keeping your joints moving as well. This stimulates the formation of synovia (joint fluid), which prevents arthritis while tightening the ligaments and tendons.
Improved Circulation and Concentration. When you sit on the swopper chair, the combination of movement and no back rest makes you straighten the upper part of your body. This causes the diaphragm to fill more completely, so that you breathe deeper, which causes circulation to increase. The result? You are more alert, have better concentration and increased performance.
If you find that at the end of the day your back is aching, you may want to consider ditching the static, high back office chair and make the move to swopper. When you sit in motion and no longer rely on a back rest, you will likely find your back muscles strengthen, tension release and your back pain vanish for good.