Tag Archives: sedentary lifestyle

Physical Activity While Sitting

Physical Activity While sitting – Preventing Chronic Disease

Physical activity while sitting…. Make it a habit.

Physical activity while sitting Preventing chronic diseaseGiven the CDC release of yet another study concluding the omnipotent role of physical activity in our lives,   a brief list for the desk bound. Physical activity does not have to be in a gym.  Even when confined to the deadly potential of sitting, physical activity while sitting is a habit to nurture.

Physically active = Work the muscles + elevate the heart rate (from physical activity not stress)

A brief summation from the CDC Preventing Chronic Disease Percentage of Deaths Associated With Inadequate Physical Activity in the United States

“Current physical activity guidelines recommend that adults participate weekly in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity equivalent aerobic physical activity to achieve substantial health benefits. Conclusions:

A significant portion of deaths was attributed to inadequate levels of physical activity. Increasing adults’ physical activity levels to meet current guidelines is likely one way to reduce the risk of premature death in the United States”

Yes, sitting is the new smoking.  Sitting is a reality of our computer dependant  lives, so let’s evolve to:

  1. Walk hourly, as much as possible
  2. Get physical activity while sitting

One of the more profound experiences of my life was about 10 years ago sitting in a hospital room wth my uncle, as he was in a coma. He stroked out during angioplasty, unblocking the arteries of the heart, and lay in a coma for many months afterwards. My uncle, albeit a brilliant man in many ways, a Queen’s Counsel, he thought our beliefs in a healthy diet and exercise were “rubbish”.  While he was in the coma, physical therapists came around every hour to work his muscles for him – not just to stop bed rash, but to work his muscles to pump. It is just that important.

Current stats show us most North Americans are are sitting an average of 13 hours a day and sleeping an average of 8 hours resulting in a sedentary lifestyle of around 21 hours a day……..

Do you have a desk job, spend a great deal of time driving, in front of the television, computer, dining table…….Experts say, for those with a desk job,  we should start standing up at work for at least two hours a day — and work our way toward four. 

One of the best investments I ever made was my work station bike. I can peddle away while I am working. There is a wide variety of work station exercise  equipment. Check around for the best deals. Certainly a great investment in your health, energy, focus  and productivity! A great investment for employers, work stations get employees happy, healthy & productive (oxygenating the brain), and very appreciative. 

Another great investment is a heart monitor or a wearable device that monitors activity and heart rate at a minimum. Please don’t believe the calories burned in most of the devices out there. Again, we want to elevate heart rate from movement and using that precious muscle mass. 

A few ideas for physical activity while sitting:
  • Keep resistance bands at your desk. Use them
  • Dance in your seat – who cares if anyone is watching – hopefully it’s contagious
  • Tennis ball squeeze – raise your arm in the air and squeeze, Squeeze between the knees….
  • Feet on the ground: step in place push hard into the floor
  • Pump arms, pump legs, torso twist…..
  • Great time to do Kegel exercises  – improve urinary control & your sex life. 50-100 reps
  • “No turkey neck” exercises – counteract always having head down to computer
  • Stretch the neck  gently, carefully, release stress and deep breathe
  • Get up and walk at least 3 minutes per hour
  • Drink water so vital to your health and make you go to the bathroom more often
  • I keep a Pilates wheel at my desk
  • Isometric contractions – push against a static force, such as the floor and breathe deep. Push hands against each other Not recommended for those with high blood pressure. 
  • Many telephone calls can be done while standing
Physical activity while sitting
Pilates wheel/circle

There is an endless list here. 

And while watching television?

Don’t just watch DWTS, Dance with the stars. Don’t just lay down on the sofa, do leg lifts, bridges…..core work……. Choose your fav TV show – and make that an exercise time, even from your sofa. 

Life combo: Our heart speeds ⇒  raising heart rate to pump extra food and oxygen to those beautiful muscles. Breathing speeds up to get more oxygen and to get rid of more carbon dioxide.  The more muscles we work together, the better the physical activity.

Aerobic exercise to increase blood flow to the brain. Aerobic exercise can raise our cardiovascular function and, thereby, also increase blood flow to the brain. Further, it is very helpful for oxygenating the body, which will improve the health of brain cells and tissue connections

And a BTW here, if you think you have “no energy”, “no time”, “no strength”, “too sore” for any of these – chances are very high that you are not getting enough physical activity. The more you do it, the more you want it. Physical activity while sitting can be invigorating, the more you do it the more you want it, the more physical activity you will crave.

Rest Is Rust, Motion is Lotion!


Physical Activity while sitting at the office? – Ask us – let us get your employees happy, healthy & productive.

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Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, BSc, Corporate Wellness specialist, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist

Questions, brainstorming, demos……..Shira@BestInCorporatehealth.com


Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
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Getting Active in a Sedentary Lifestyle

Getting Active in a Sedentary Lifestyle

Sounds like a complete oxymoron….getting active in a sedentary lifestyle. Truth is – sedentary behaviour is the #1 lifestyle killer.

Getting Active in a Sedentary lifestyle
Physical Activity every waking hour is a critical aspect of cell health

A sedentary lifestyle is a guilty culprit in all of our chronic illnesses plaguing our world: depression, heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, weakened immune system,  chronic fatigue….As the WHO states, at least 75% of our chronic illnesses are preventable.



Getting active in a sedentary lifestyle is the most forgotten aspect of health and wellness programs. Consider the facts on sedentary behaviour:

  • Circulation dramatically slows when sitting
  • Poor posture – poor curvature of the spine
  • breathing compromised – less oxygen intake
  • Poor circulation & oxygenation – compromised health, immunity, focus, cognitive function
  • shortens our telomeres….a chromosomal “measure” for health and aging
  • dramatically increased risk of metabolic syndrome

Mayo Clinic study compared adults who spent less than two hours a day of  screen-based activity with those who logged more than four hours a day of  screen time. Those with greater screen time had:

  • A nearly 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause
  • About a 125 percent increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack
    The increased risk was separate from other traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking or high blood pressure.

Any extended sitting — such as behind a desk at work or behind the wheel — can be harmful.

Spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in moderate or vigorous activity does NOT seem to significantly offset the risk.

A complete corporate wellness program defines and integrates regular physical activity into the program, while still maintaining the decorum of the workplace. Many workplace environments are sedentary, desk job. Now combine that with travelling time, screen time at home, television, exhaustion at the end of a day…..getting active in a sedentary lifestyle demands respect and vigilance for workplace health and employee productivity.

Taking a 5 minute nature walk – albeit sounds really fun – is not reality. A few suggestions from our Corporate Desk Olympics Program:

  • Deskercise……Serious muscle pumping, heart health exercises…tuned to your day!
  • Breathing exercises
  • Postural Pull ups
  • Pumping the Power pump muscles
  • Immune pumpers

Exercise and physical activity are very different, and both extremely important components to our overall health, and employee performance.  Physical activity works the majority of its magic at the cellular level.

Cellular health  minimizes  those saboteurs which lead to poorly optimized health, enabling happiness, strength, empowerment, productivity  – and yes – prevent illness.

Getting active in a sedentary lifestyle with Best in Corporate Health
Shira Litwack: BSc Psychology & Chemistry, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , holistic nutritionist, medical exercise specialist

Shira Litwack calls herself the “CHE – Chief Health Enthusiast” of Best in Corporate Health. Shira has assembled over  30 health and fitness professionals to bring you unique corporate wellness programs designed around your employees. No more one size fits none corporate health programs, no long guilt lists of shoulds and should nots – fun, engaging programs where “installation” is an integral part of all programs. The health coaches cover a wide range of specialties from nutrition, exercise, balancing lifestyle, family harmony, addiction recovery, disease prevention and recovery…..contact us to plan your corporate wellness solutions.

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Shira has been interviewed on: City TV, CTV, National Public Radio, Sirius XM Dr. Rehab Dr. Jonathan Whiteson & The Sports Medicine Show, Living Cancer Free, Web Talk Radio, Voice America, Obesity Control Center, Investment Executive