Preventing Negative Health Outcomes from Sedentary Jobs and Lifestyle
Because so many Americans have sedentary jobs and lifestyle practices, the consequences have resulted in a new descriptor for symptoms resulting from this lifestyle – Sitting Disease.
Potential complications of Sitting Disease include, but are not limited to, obesity, diabetes, heart problems, depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor digestion, hormone imbalances, swelling of lower extremities, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, lack of stamina, fatigue, joint pain and upright imbalance.
How to fight Sitting Disease:
- On the hour stand up and stretch. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
- Stand/walk (in place if necessary) when speaking on the phone.
- Look into sit/stand workstations as an option to a traditional desk.
- Flex, stretch and contract your muscles while seated. Move your feet as though spelling the ABCs (this will contract leg muscles).
- Practice “Progressive Muscle Relaxation” techniques (easily done while seated).
- Drink more water. Not only is it good for hydration, it’ll make you get up and go to the bathroom more often!
- After work (especially if your job requires a lot of sitting), ration your sedentary time and intersperse it with physical activity.
Good advice for a Healthy Lifestyle:
- Create an exercise / fitness regime that includes cardio and strength training components.
- Eat appropriate portions and healthy food choices.
- Commit to prevent Sitting Disease by using the techniques listed above.
Wellness from Within: Take a holistic approach to health
When it comes to a long and vital life, your actions are at least as important as your genes. Do you smoke? Eat healthfully? Stay active and maintain your recommended weight?
HEALS is an acronym for the following four major factors that influence our health and happiness:
Heredity: This represents the genetics our parents passed to us. While we can’t change our genes,we can affect the way they impact our lives.
Environment: Once we’re adults, we can make our own choices about our footprint on the earth. Will we allow cigarettes in our homes, regularly change our air filters, and eat, live and vote in ways that protect the planet?
Age: Many health factors change as we age, including the strength of our bones, the vitality of our organs, and the cumulative effects of choices we’ve made, like eating poorly and excessive drinking.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle choices — from the diets we choose to the homes we live in — affect all the other factors that determine our longevity, health and happiness.
Sex/Gender: Men and women face specific risks and benefits purely due to their gender, including childbirth and prostate disease.
Immune-boosting Foods May Add to Flu Defense
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, even a small nutritional deficiency can affect the body’s ability to stay healthy. A strong immune system doesn’t guarantee your body can fight off every flu bug, but good nutrition is essential to a strong immune response.
Foods That May Boost the Immune System
- Protein is an essential part of your body’s defense system. Sources of protein include seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Vitamin A helps prevent infections by keeping the skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, lungs and intestines healthy. This nutrient, found in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach and red bell peppers, also helps the body regulate the immune system.
- Vitamin C triggers the production of immune-boosting antibodies. Oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and tangerines are among the foods rich in vitamin C.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may provide a boost to the immune system. People who want to get more vitamin E in their diet should eat sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower or safflower oil, hazelnuts, peanut butter or spinach.
- Some believe that zinc, a nutrient found in lean beef, wheat germ, crab, wheat bran, sunflower seeds, black-eyed peas, almonds, milk and tofu, may also improve functioning of the immune system.