Sitting is the New Smoking

| August 6, 2013 | 9 Comments


At least that’s what the Globe and Mail stated in an October 2012 article (   Many studies are now showing the detrimental effects of inactivity.   Some even go as far as to say that exercising on the weekends will not counter the effects of sitting all day long.

So what are we to do?  Our jobs demand us to be in a seated position for most of the day (driving to work, sitting at work, driving home, sitting for dinner, sitting at the TV).   How can we help to counter the effects of being stuck in a seated position?  Here are some tips that will help you get on the (up)right track:

  1. Stand frequently throughout the day.  Try once every hour for a few seconds to stretch out.  Taking frequent breaks can be very helpful.   Try standing when you’re on the phone or walking to talk to a coworker instead of email.
  2. Encourage ‘walking’ meetings instead of sit down ones.  Better yet, take them outside on nice days.
  3. Take a walk on your lunch hour.  Take advantage of your workplace fitness centre if you have one.
  4. Look into a standing workstation or ask for an ergonomic assessment to ensure your seated working posture and set up is correct.
  5. Focus on good posture (standing and seated) throughout your day.  Open the chest, bring your shoulders back and down and retract your head – your ears should be in line with your shoulders and hips.

For more ideas on how to stay fit at the workplace, check out this short segment on CTV Morning Live.

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Category: Tips, Wellness

About the Author ()

Sarah is a Certified Kinesiologist, Exercise Physiologist, Group Fitness Instructor and Mother of 2. She is the creator of the Prenatal and Postnatal Strength Workout DVD (available at as well as co-created the Elemental Workout®. Sarah owns Continuum Fitness and Movement Performance with her husband, John (, a personal training studio in Westboro, Ottawa offering one on one coaching as well as group classes. Sarah is a former international fitness competitor and has been a nationally ranked race walker.

Comments (9)

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  1. Freda Mans says:

    Fantastic article! Reminds me to take better care of my body throughout the day while working.

  2. sarah sar says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I have an office job and spend most of the time sitting and I HATE it!! I try to get up and walk around every now and then when I can be bothered to but it’s a habit I really need to change.

  3. Suzie M says:

    love the title & it is so true

  4. Brenda A says:

    I am intrigued by the standing work stations and even more by the treadmill work stations I have seen on Youtube. This would be so great because I spend so much time on my backside. Too much!

  5. Lynn M says:

    I would love a treadmill workstation,such a great idea!

  6. kathy downey says:

    I love you heading,it is so true

  7. kathy downey says:

    Thanks for sharing this,I know myself get a sore/stiff back from sitting most of the day!

  8. kathy downey says:

    I quit smoking,it was so difficult but i will be smoke-free 3 years in March….now i need to stop sitting

  9. kathy downey says:

    A new year,and its time for change.i am trying for less sitting and more moving this year !

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