By Joli Guenther, MSSW, NASM-CPT
Have you started your exercise routine, only to find yourself frustrated as you reach a weight loss or fitness plateau? Your sedentary job may be a bigger culprit than you realize. Recent research from the U.K. shows that sitting for hours at a time is bad for your health, even if you exercise at the end of the day (check out this link for a full article
). The study indicates that after four hours of sitting, your body stops regulating glucose and fat metabolism as effectively, increasing risks for chronic disease and undermining weight loss. While exercising at the end of the day may help to counter the detrimental effects of a sedentary job, this research shows that limited periods of exercise are not enough.
So what's a sedentary, office working American to do? Researchers recommend bringing activity into your day by including short breaks, taking the stairs, and walking for errands. You might also look for ways to exercise at your computer or desk (check out this link for a how to
). And finally, you may want to give some thought to the timing of your workouts. If you're exercising primarily in the evening, try working in a few morning and lunch break workouts to counter a day at your desk. You can also break up your day by standing during meetings and phone calls, taking active breaks to organize the files and paperwork in your office, and heading out for lunch and breaks.