Do you, or someone you know, have ‘sitting disease’? If you spend 8-9 hours a day in a chair, you could have sitting disease. In fact, researcher, James Levine, has coined the phrase “Sitting is the new Smoking”. Dr. Levine is the director of the NEAT Center at Mayo Clinic and is a world authority on preventing and treating obesity. NEAT, Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, refers to the calories you burn simply living your life. His research has shown that, among other things, you can burn more calories each week, reduce fatigue by 65% and extend your life by 4 years simply by getting up and out of your chair!

I know it sounds too easy to be true, but I, too, have seen this work with my clients. Many people come to the gym three or four days per week and exercise like crazy for 45-60 minutes and call it good. However, what they do the rest of the time is what makes a difference in their weight and their overall health. Those that remain active and mobile throughout the day will burn more calories and maintain their weight loss (or lose more weight). Conversely, those that go to a sedentary work day, sitting in meetings, confined to a desk, or driving long hours in a car tend to be heavier, have more back pain and are more fatigued at the end of the day. When you consider that the mere act of standing burns three times as many calories an hour as sitting, it all makes perfect sense. If sitting is the problem, standing (or even better MOVING) is the answer. So many people cite time and fatigue as their reasons for not beginning an exercise program, but if you simply begin today by getting up out of your chair and employ some of these changes, you will be on your way to having more energy!

Instead of sitting at your desk returning phone calls, use a wireless phone and pace back and forth in your office or home.

Instead of parking in the closest spot to your office door, park in the back of the lot and take the stairs once you get in the building.

Instead of opening the door to let your dog out in the morning, grab the leash and take her for a walk around the block.

Instead of parking yourself in front of the television at night, put that piece of exercise equipment to good use and simply walk or bike lightly while you watch your favorite show. The same goes for going through the mail or reading the newspaper, you don’t have to go at full speed, just move!

The more you move, the greater chance your body has to do what it was made to do. If you’ve been contemplating beginning an exercise routine, but don’t know where to start, here is your answer ~ JUST MOVE ~ no fancy equipment, expensive clothing or high tech shoes involved, simply get up out of your chair and go say hello to your neighbor. You will be amazed at how much better you feel.

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