We all knew sitting at your desk for hours without a break is bad for your health but we didn’t know it correlates to the size of your waist! The European Heart Journal published a study by Genevieve N. Healy, MPH, of the School of Population Health at University of Queensland, Australia measured cardio-metabolic and inflammation indicators in 4,757 adults who wore an accelerometer and participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2003 to 2006.
The researchers were shocked to discover that even people who exercise regularly have larger waist circumferences and lower HDL cholesterol levels, as well as higher C-reactive protein levels and triglycerides (P for trends <0.05). People who took more breaks during times when they were sedentary had smaller waists and lower C-reactive protein levels (P for trends <0.05). On average, people who took the most breaks had a waist circumference 4.1 cm smaller than those took the least (top 25% vs. bottom 25%).
Now that we know that sitting still for long periods of time is associated with heart disease risk factors, it becomes even more important to take breaks to walk around or exercise during times when you will be sedentary.
Researchers have been looking at what happens to our bodies and brains when we walk in woods, in the mountains or by the sea. This study is called ecopsychology.
I didn’t make it up! The Japanese have been studying this for years!
Results? People do better on tests involving memory or attention after trekking through the woods than after walking in a city. People have increased levels of physical and mental energy as well as a greater sense of well being after walking along an outdoor path beside a stream.
It gives your multitasking brain a break. Time slows down. Stress levels are reduced. Blood pressure and heart rate subside.
In short… get up and out (side) for great benefit.
P.S. If you can’t, go to http://www.giftsfromthemountain.com. Come walk with me in the Rockies and put your mind and spirit at ease. It’s our new conversation fire-starter training film distributed by Star Thrower Productions.
Researches at Loma Linda University in California found that repeated bouts of laughter offer some of the same benefits as moderate exercise: lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol. As reported in LiveScience.com, volunteers who laughed while watching videos experienced changes in the hormones that are also known to regulate appetite.
I love it. Laugh your way lean. Hah! Hah