Stand up for your health

Studies show that sitting for long periods of time can increase your risk of heart disease. A study published in 2008 in Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports suggests that people who sit for long periods of time typically have decreased levels of a heart-protecting enzyme called lipoprotein, as well as the good kind of cholesterol.

Even people who exercise regularly, but are otherwise largely sedentary, can experience this effect. Of course, exercise remains a good way to support your health. So the best approach is to exercise regularly and decrease the time you spend sitting, says Todd Weitzenberg, MD, a Kaiser Permanente sports medicine physician.

This can be easier said than done for many of us. Much of our days are spent at a desk, behind the wheel, or on the couch. Try practicing these five tips to reduce your sitting time:

  1. Stand while you fold laundry.
  2. Walk or stand as you talk on the phone.
  3. Keep moving during your favorite TV show. Instead of lounging on your couch, march in place or work on your sit ups.
  4. Take breaks away from your desk or computer.
  5. On long car drives, pull over and get out of your car for a 10-minute break every hour or so.

Listen to Kaiser Permanente experts and members discuss the benefits of sitting less from one of our previously recorded Health Talks. Or join one of the other live, online, interactive talks with our experts as they share the latest healthy living tips.

Watch a video of our own Dr. Robert Sallis and members talking about the benefits of exercise.

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