Health Hacking: Sitting is Bad, Get Healthy!

Friday, May 29, 2015

We are living in an era where most professionals whether computer consultants or doctors use computers on a daily basis. Most computers are in an office which in turn introduces long periods of sitting. Sitting for long periods of time has proven to be a contributor to bad posturing, weight gain, diseases and shortening the length of our lives!. This is serious stuff, but not to worry!

In this blog post I'll be taking a step away from traditional tutorial posts to inform you just how bad sitting for long periods of time really is and what we can do to improve the situation! Let's jump right in!

Why is sitting so bad?

Research from the British Journal of Sports Medicine has shown that sitting down for long periods of time is known to cause diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and even strokes! How so?

By sitting for long periods of time, we reduce our telomeres, which are in charge of cell longevity. When our telomeres get shorter, it damages our cells thus affecting their life span which then increase one's chances for diseases and a shorter life span. Serious stuff!

Check the TED video below for more information.

Get Healthy!

Researchers believe that standing up and moving around periodically increases the chances of a longer and healthier life. These facts are often forgotten due to busy work schedules/lives. However, there is a solution! In order to help myself and others I've made a free, lightweight web application to remind one to get up and stretch periodically! Enter Get Healthy!

The Get Healthy! application was made to remind users to get up, stretch and take a break. Just set your reminder time (15 or 30 minutes) and wait. When the time comes the application will play a sound and flash the title screen to remind one that it is time for a stretch. The application will also display a random stretch/exercise to do.

Apart from taking periodic breaks to move around, it is recommended to invest in a stand up desk. Stand up desks are getting relatively cheaper and more common in the industry. In terms of chairs, why not ditch the traditional office chair and get a medicine ball? Medicine balls are also becoming more common and do a great job at building your core muscles while you're sitting down.

Well, that's it! Hope you guys learned something! Feel free to try the application out here and give some feedback as well as any features you would like included in the next revision. Remember not to sit down too long, stay active and get healthy!

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