COLUMN: Sit less, live more

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By Theresa Howard

Do you sit a lot during the day? Studies have shown that when a person spends too much time sitting, there can be health risks. These risks include obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and higher cholesterol levels. Too much sitting may also lead to increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

These studies show us that we should not be sitting in front of a screen for long periods of time or on a regular basis. There are other times in which adults may sit for long periods of time, such as with a long commute to work. If you remain sitting behind your desk all day long, you are at risk as well.

Even when you are physically active at other times during the day, the time spent sitting still has a poor effect on your health. It is important to give your body a break from the “sitting” position.

If you are wondering how you can fit more activity into your daily life and stop sitting so much, here are a few ideas to break up the amount of time you spend seated.

• If you have to take a phone call, stand while you are on the phone.

• If you have a meeting with only one other person, try taking a walk for your meeting.

• Take the stairs instead of the elevator when you have the choice.

• Did you know that even these small ideas can have a huge impact on your health? For most people, when they have activity breaks during their day, they feel more energized and less stress. You will burn more calories on a daily basis.

Resolution Restart?

Last year, Americans reported a drop in healthy eating in a daily poll by Gallup and Healthways. Normally, healthful eating rises in January, dips a little in spring, rises in late summer and falls way off in the holiday months of November and December. So if you resolved to have healthier eating habits in 2014, how are you doing so far?