Why Our Brains May be Wired To Keep Us Sedentary

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.

wire to hate exercise

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.

ergonomic office chair

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.

 

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Five Ways Sitting is Destroying Your Health

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.

 

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Sitting All Day? Do This Instead of Breaks Every 30 Minutes

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.

take a break every 30 minutes of sitting

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.

ergonomic office chair

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.

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Prolonged Sitting May Harm Your Brain – Study

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.

sitting too much can harm 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.

swopper motion chair

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.

 

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Standing at Work Could Help You Live Longer – Study

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.

Standing at work

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.

Muvman height adjustable chair

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.

 

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Why the Best Chair for Your Back, Doesn’t Have One

Recently we received a comment on Facebook from someone who saw a video of the swopper chair and was confused…

best chair for back pain

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.

proper posture while sitting

Here are the main reasons why sitting on a motion chair with no back support, like swopper, is actually best for your back.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joelogon/324259281

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.

ergonomic office chair

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.

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New Study Shows Sitting Increases Death Risk from 14 Diseases

Between commuting, working at a desk and watching TV, the modern American sits on average 12+ hours per day. A new study from the American Cancer Society says all that sitting may lead to an early death from one of 14 diseases.

The study, collected data on nearly 128,000 men and women who were part of an American Cancer Society prevention study. At the start of the study, all were free of major chronic diseases. During 21 years of follow-up, nearly 49,000 people died. The researchers used the data to make connections between time spent sitting and the increased risk of mortality from various diseases.

sitting linked to early death

What they found is if you sit for six hours a day or more, your risk of dying early jumps 19 percent, compared with people who sit fewer than three hours.

More specifically, the research showed that prolonged sitting increases your risk of death from 14 diseases, including: cancer; heart disease; stroke; diabetes; kidney disease; suicide; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD; lung disease; liver disease; peptic ulcer and other digestive disease; Parkinson’s disease; Alzheimer’s disease; nervous disorders; and musculoskeletal disorders. Each disease had a different increased risk from sitting, ranging from 10 percent for cancer to 60 percent for musculoskeletal disease.

“The simple message is that we should be moving more,” said lead researcher Alpa Patel. “The less sitting you do, the better it is for you,” she said. “Breaking up an hour of sitting with 2 minutes of standing or light activity can improve cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.”

It’s clear sitting for too long day in and day out can have a dire affect on your health. The tricky part is figuring out how to incorporate movement into your lifestyle while maintaining your office job, long commute and relaxing activities. As if the stress of our modern life wasn’t enough, we now have to worry that it’s killing us!

The good new is, when you use a swopper or 3Dee office chair your body naturally stays in motion.

swopper chair 3Dee Chair

You can bounce, tilt and sway while you work, so you never have to cut into your concentration to take that obligatory movement break. When you use a swopper or 3Dee chair, your body will thank you for this increased movement by improving your muscle tone, reducing backaches and helping you perform optimally. Plus, you never have to worry about what all that sitting may be doing to your lifespan.

swopper motion chair

 

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Apple’s Tim Cook Encourages Transitional Sitting

It’s no secret Apple’s office culture is on the forefront of employee wellness, so it is no surprise that Apple CEO Tim Cook recently came out to encourage the benefits of transitional sitting. In an interview with Bloomberg, Cook said “sitting in the new cancer” and discussed how they tackle the issue with their own employees.

Cook shared that every one of Apple’s 12,000 employees at their Apple Park Headquarters is given a standing desk to use. Cook promoted the benefits of transitional sitting, saying “if employees stand for a while when they work, sit down, and go back to standing, it’s far better for their health than sitting all day in an office.”

Transitional sitting has recently picked up steam with health experts, who claim it is the healthiest way to sit. Research has shown that neither standing or sitting exclusively all day is good for your health. Both can lead to various health ailments. The proven best way to work is moving fluidly between sitting and standing, while incorporating movement.

The key is to stand for awhile, then when you start to feel fatigued, transition to sitting. Ideally you are moving and stretching your body throughout the entire day as well.

Muvman is the ultimate transitional sitting companion chair as it allows you to easily adjust the height of the chair to accommodate sitting, standing or perching. Plus it’s ergonomic design allows you to tilt and sway while sitting, so your body stays in slight motion.

muvman stool

Transitional sitting is no longer a best practice only those focused on their wellness know about. It’s becoming more and more mainstream as evidenced by Tim Cook promoting it’s many benefits. Get your workspace set up to function optimally to support your health by using a height adjustable desk and Muvman sit to stand stool. 

 

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New Study: Too Much Sitting May Lead to Dementia

When we think about the health risks of prolonged sitting, we typically first think of the physical aches and pains. However, more and more research is coming out showing that the effects of sitting go much deeper and may even cause premature death.

Sitting may lead to dementia

One such preliminary study from the University of California, Los Angeles, shows that sitting for too long over a lifetime can lead to atrophy of the part of the brain responsible for memory. Researchers say this atrophy could lead to dementia or even alzheimer’s in those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

To conduct the research,  35 people between the ages of 45 and 75 who did not have existing dementia were surveyed about their lifestyle, Including the amount of physical activity they did and the average hours per day they spend sitting each week. MRIs were also conducted of the medial temporal lobe, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories.

The results showed that participants who reported high amounts of sitting with low activity level had less thickness in their medial temporal lobe. A thinner MTL can be an early sign of cognitive decline and dementia. The researchers suggest more longitudinal studies be conducted to “better understanding the effects of sedentary behavior on our brains is important given the global epidemic of physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles.”

If these results are confirmed in future research, physical activity and reducing sitting time may become and important intervention for older adults at risk for dementia or alzheimer’s. The researchers said “The finding … is clinically relevant and suggests that reducing this behavior may be a possible target for interventions designed to improve brain health in middle-aged and older adults.”

It’s clear that the time to change lifestyle habits is now. The risks associated with sitting all day are too numerous and severe. The best way to combat the health issues tied to sitting, is to stay in motion throughout your day. If that’s not possible because of your job, then sitting in motion with swopper  chair is an excellent option.

swopper chair

When you sit on a swopper, you are able to bounce, tilt and sway while you work. This keeps your body is motion and eliminates the risks associated with sitting still all day, which now appear to include dementia. Take charge of your health and start sitting in motion.

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Gift Ideas for a Working Mom

She does it all – nurtures her family, keeps the household running AND juggles a demanding job. Working moms are often “on the clock” from early in the morning until the last kid is in bed. Usually their devotion to their families and careers leaves little time for themselves.

These super human women deserve our respect and admiration during Mother’s Day. So what is the best way to let the working mom in your life know “I love and appreciate all you do” on Mother’s Day? The resident working moms here at Via Seating have some ideas for you.

 

  1. A Meal Delivery Subscription. Take one thing off mom’s plate by signing her up for a meal delivery subscription box. That way she doesn’t have to meal plan for every night of the week. Bonus points if you enlist someone other than her to cook it!
    swopper motion chair
  2. An Office Chair that Benefits Her Health. If your mom works an office job, it’s likely she’s stuck sitting static for most of the day. Let her know that her health and wellbeing matters too by giving her a swopper motion chair. Swopper will let her bounce, tilt, sway and move throughout her workday, which will prevent many health ailments like back pain, stiff joints and poor posture.
    Gift ideas for mom
  3. A House Cleaning Service. Most mothers find it hard to relax after a long day when the house is a mess. Let her feel at peace in her home by bringing in a house cleaning service to make things spotless (even if it only lasts the day!).
    manicure
  4. A Manicure & Pedicure. Help mom look her best in the boardroom by treating her to a manicure and pedicure. She’ll appreciate the pampering and will feel polished and professional every time she looks at her nails.
    gift ideas for working mom
  5. An Orchid For Her Desk. Fresh flowers are a great way to brighten mom’s work space. An orchid is an easy, low maintenance plant that will keep blooming for months. All mom will have to do is put a few ice cubes in every other week.

Mother’s Day is a great day to show the mother’s in your life that you love and appreciate them. If your mom is a working mom, the gift ideas above will let her know that you are thankful for all she sacrifices for her family.

We want to wish all our customers who are mothers a Happy Mothers Day! We salute you.

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