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As our dependence on technology grows, we’re becoming more aware of the health consequences that come along with it.
“Sitting is the new smoking,” a phrase coined by Dr. James Levine, began circulating back in 2014 to point out the dangers associated with sedentary lifestyles.
In the years preceding that comment, I had been working closely with corporate wellness programs that were also addressing concerns about low levels of physical activity in the workplace. Ergonomic assessments became more common; treadmill workstations and adjustable desks became more accessible; and walking groups and incentive-based activity challenges were established to encourage more movement throughout the workday.
Modern conveniences don’t require us to exert much effort these days. Instead, we’re tied to our desk or trapped behind the wheel of our car for extended periods of time. This lack of physical activity is associated with a number of poor health outcomes such as weight gain, centralized adiposity (large waist circumference), increased fasting triglycerides and insulin resistance. And those are precursors to other chronic health conditions.
Like many Americans, I spend a lot of time on my computer. So, as part of my self-care system, I often work at my treadmill workstation. Instead of buying a specialty model, which can cost around $6,000, my husband built one for around $30. While there’s still some controversy about whether multi-tasking is beneficial, I love being able to “walk and work” at the same time. Many of my best ideas come while I’m moving.
Finding ways to include more physical activity in our increasingly sedentary culture is sometimes challenging–but it can also be fun.