Moves: How standing more often can prolong your life

Moves: How standing more often can prolong your life

Nature, the solar system and everything else are in a constant state of flux, it all moves.


The problem is as humans, we like to think we can buck the trend and introduce new rules because we are special. Well, we aren’t. We, like everything else, were made to move, for locomotion.


But technology for all its good threatens our health because it works against this truth and instead introduces languor and reduces our physical activity footprint.


Even when you can’t engage in a detailed workout plan due to a busy work schedule, it is important you stay active or engage in moves, says a recent research on the ills of a sedentary existence by researchers from the American Cancer Society published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.



Findings of the Study

The study sampled 123,000 middle-aged adults and the results were an overwhelming evidence behind the benefits of activity, of the physical kind.


Women who didn’t do regular exercise but sat longer during the 14-year period of the research showed a 34 percent greater risk of dying from any cause at all. Men had a 17 percent increase. When exercise was factored in, men who exercised little and lived a sedentary life were 50 percent more likely to die within the period of the study. The same bleak result was true for the women.



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So what’s the point, you ask?



Think of the body as a constantly working machine, a label quite apt when we consider the mystery of our biology and the beauty of its mechanics. Every single second, cells are busy at work, pumping blood through the veins, digesting food, detoxing the body etc. To do all of this, it uses from its energy store, glucose which is how the body stores carbs and what it taps into for maintaining normal body processes among other things.



When we sit too long, we use less glucose and this means the body retains more glucose (sugar) in its store, raising our risk of Type 2 diabetes. This lowers quality of life with symptoms like weight loss, increased hunger, frequent thirst and urinating, fatigue, and blurred vision among other things



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Increase Your NEAT

An active life is a key requirement for a healthy life and guess what, you can achieve this even when you have little time to use a gym.


Dr. James Levine at the Mayo Clinic developed the term Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) to describe the energy we expend in everyday activity that isn’t sport-like, sleeping or eating.  This means that by moving more, either by walking more during our normal day at the office, standing more as opposed to sitting, dancing etc. we expend vital energy.


So who says you need to be an elite athlete to work out and be fit? A simple health hack is to consciously try to be more physical; walk more, dance more (who cares if your steps are unwieldy), laugh more, basically engage in more MOVES.



As the saying goes, if exercise was a pill, it would be the most prescribed drug on earth. But in the event you just can’t make time for a structured exercise program yet, do the next best thing; be active, increase your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.



I like to move it, move it. Do you?

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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