Senior Home Care Blog - Western Cook & Eastern DuPage Counties

Stand Up to the Dangers of Sitting Too Much

By Mary L. Doepke, RN

Research continues to suggest that the simple act of sitting too much is bad for our health and even our longevity.

The experts at Mayo Clinic list obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels among the risks of sitting too much. Sitting too much also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The same studies that point out the dangers of sitting too much also suggest that getting up every half hour or so can decrease the damage caused by and risk associated with this sedentary habit.

For most of us, standing, walking and moving are not a problem. We just need to be reminded to do so! Time can get away from us when we’re working, watching television or relaxing with a good book.

Here are a few ideas for working healthy breaks into your day.

Stand Up To Your Job

If you work in an office or at a computer at home, consider the option of a standing desk. You can invest in a product designed for the job, or as a cheaper option, simply mount a shelf for your computer at a height that allows you to stand while typing.

That’s Alarming

Set an alarm on your phone or computer that reminds you that it’s time to get your blood flowing and your body moving. When the alarm sounds, take a walk around the house, to the break room, or just stand up and stretch.

A Wearable Reminder

Invest in a fitness tracker! These handy little gadgets keep track of information such as how many steps you take in a day and how much time you’ve spent sitting. They even send a reminder when it’s time to get up and move!

Fitness trackers are both motivating and a bit addicting, quietly urging the wearer to better themselves day to day.

There are many choices on the market. has some suggestions for finding the one that’s right for you or your loved one.

There are even online communities that help seniors manage and get the most out of their fitness devices. Connect with other Seniors on the Fitbit community site.

The Low-tech Option

Of course, for a fitness tracking device to work, it must be linked to a smart phone or computer. If technology is just too much for you or your loved one, consider a pedometer instead.

These low-tech devices will count your steps with a simple press of a button. Some, like the Ozeri 4x3sport Tri-Mode Activity Tracker, have built-in memory so you can compare one day’s activity to the next.

Sit a little less each day by setting a daily step goal. Before you know it, you’ll be leaving that easy chair behind, and reaping the health benefits that come with it.

Take a Break

TV watching does not promote a healthy lifestyle, but if your days are generally spent sitting in front of the screen, you can improve your health by making use of those commercial breaks.

When a commercial comes on, resist the temptation to fast forward. Instead, take it as your cue to get out of the chair.

Make Sitting a Treat

If you are healthy enough to stand up and walk, take advantage. Remember, there are those who have no choice but to sit.

Start putting sitting in the same category as a bowl of ice cream, a long weekend or a fancy cocktail. In other words, think of sitting as a little luxury rather than a way of life.