Some of us seniors may find that we have more time on our hands these days. Let’s face it, social distancing led to a lot of binge-watching new shows or hours spent catching up on reading. You may notice that your body begins to get sore after hours of sitting still as the effects of being inactive can be noticeable fairly quickly. Persistent inactivity is much more serious, though, and has been directly linked with obesity, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and more.
If you do have to sit for several hours each day, be sure to offset those hours with physical activity. Those who do tend to experience significantly fewer health problems. The right balance between how much time you ought to spend relaxing and being active remains uncertain but researchers concluded no more than two to three hours of inactivity in a 12-hour day. They also strongly recommend getting up to stretch and move after each half hour spent sitting down.
A 2018 medical study found that prolonged sitting can even negatively affect memory as one ages. Dr. David Alter, a scientist with Toronto Rehab University, stresses that “avoiding sedentary time and getting regular exercise is imperative for your health and survival.”
Even simple changes can greatly reduce sedentary behavior such as; when you are cleaning up at home, put items away in small trips around the house. Think about setting a timer when watching television to remind yourself to get up every so often. Walk around when you are on the phone or stand to watch some of your favourite television shows.
The positive impact of movement – even leisurely movement can be absolutely profound so stand up and get moving!
A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Lauralee or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.