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Last Updated on February 27, 2018

The Simplest Way to Make You Sit Less

The Simplest Way to Make You Sit Less

The average American office worker now spends 10 hours per day sat in a chair. If you think about it, this statistic isn’t so surprising – whether we’re writing reports, checking e-mails, making phone calls, surfing the internet, or watching TV, most of us remain seated throughout the day.

But staying seated for long periods is linked with an increased risk of fat accumulation and weight gain. You might think that this is just because sitting doesn’t burn many calories, but there is another mechanism at work.

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When you stay sitting down for long periods of time, you put your body’s cells under physical pressure. This encourages lipid droplets to form inside your fat cells, and it causes the resulting fat tissue to enlarge and spread. This “cellular expansion” can mean that your fat cells grow by up to 50%.

Specifically, sitting down for hours at a time promotes fat storage in the buttocks. Worse, once your fat cells begin to grow, they also stiffen – this makes the tissue harder to shift through diet and exercise.[1]

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How to Stop the Fat Cells from Expanding

Luckily, there are a few easy things you can do to reduce the risk of rapid fat accumulation. To put it simply, you have to move! Medical researchers published an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine advising that American workers should make sure that they are standing up and moving for at least 2 hours over the course of the average working day.[2]

So how should you start? You don’t have to leave the office and go for a long walk – small and simple movements, repeated frequently over the course of the day, are actually the most effective.

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Start to Fidget

A UK-based study that looked at the fidgeting habits and health of over 12,000 women found a clear link between fidgeting and mortality. Basically, the more you fidget, the lower your mortality risk![3] Just taking a few moments to move around in your seat, shift your posture, standing up, and taking a short walk can drastically reduce the risks associated with prolonged sitting.

If you are worried that making time for quick breaks will harm your productivity, relax! There is no evidence that this is the case. In fact, research has demonstrated that taking a short breaks boost productivity and creativity.[4] So don’t be afraid to prioritize your physical health by breaking up your workday.

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Cement the Changes

Make it a rule that you will make a conscious effort to move around every 20 minutes whilst at work. You can set a reminder on your phone or computer to stand up and stretch, to change your posture, or go for a quick walk if possible. The more you move, the better! If you work in close proximity to other people, you could all decide to hold each other accountable!

Remember, you can’t afford to remain too stationary. It may sound dramatic, but our sitting habits are posing a real risk to our health. Making the effort to move around on a regular basis will help keep your weight in check. Once you have formed new habits, they will stick with you for years to come.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

More by this author

Jolie Choi

Gone through a few heartbreaks and lost hundreds of friends but I am still happy with my life.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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