The Habit We All Have That’s As Bad For Us As Smoking

photo: @mikutas


Only 4.9% of teenagers aged 12-18 have tried a cigarette, and according to “Fast Stats” the level of obesity is significantly higher with 20.5% of teens aged 12-19 falling into that category, and rising! This is a scary thought. Not only do we want to live a long and healthy life, but we want our kids, friends and family to have the same.

Our generation has fallen into an indulgent culture where we have everything we could ever want at the press of a button. I can use my phone to order a pizza, a pair of jeans and a toothbrush without leaving my house.

Dr. James Levine, who coined the term ‘sitting is the new smoking’ said this: “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.” And it’s easy to do. In our offices we are all sitting, all day, nobody gets up for a walk unless it’s to the toilet or for a lunch break.

How can we change that?

Walk after work 
Once you’re finished working all you want to do is sit on your butt – I know that. But as soon as you build up 10,000 steps a day, you will burn at least 500 calories and reverse any damage already done. Whether you walk 5,000 in the morning and 5,000 in the evening, it’s easy to be active. Plus, you can take the stairs in some tube stations…

Schedule walk-breaks 
Set tasks that can be done while you’re on your feet. If you have an inbox app, you can reply to emails while you walk back and forth outside, just to give you a break from sitting indoors.

Walk with a group 
Encouraging some co-workers, friends or family members to walk with you is the best way to stay motivated. When one of you doesn’t feel like it, the rest of you will help everyone stay on track!

Keep your pedometer app on
Having an app counting steps in the background allows you to share your milestones with whoever you choose. Hit 10,000 and tweet that! Why not?

Written by Ellie McHugh

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  1. Yes! I have back problems and leg problems from sitting down at work. I’m only 28! It’s hideous! My work actually manufactures standing desks but they refuse to order them for us.

  2. I used to work from home and I remember being horrified when I realised how little I walked. Since moving to NYC I walk ALL the time and it’s awesome :) Big cities make it so much easier, but NYC is especially awesome to walk around.

  3. Sit stand desks!!!
    I love love love my sit stand desk.
    Not only does it help my bag, but it makes desk dancing a whole lot easier!

    Mine’s a varidesk and it was pretty inexpensive compared to all the sick leave I was taking for my back and neck pain.

  4. That’s ridiculous!!! I had to have a medical certificate for my work to order me one. But honestly the amount of money the company has saved by me not taking sick leave is worth it. I want them for the rest of my staff too, but apparently I was a special case (which again is ridiculous!).
    Companies should know that keeping staff healthy is actually profitable and a solid return on investment.

  5. Agree, and the fact that we actually make them is beyond ridiculous. Unfortunately we have a manager who is stubborn, old fashioned and refuses to budge. Even though I have to regularly take time out to go to physio!

  6. It’s actually frightening to see at what rate obesity is spreading especially in a society that worships paper thin models (or curvy ones but still thin). It’s actually really paradoxical with the “beauty standards” of our days but it’s totally relevant when you see the price difference between a hamburger and a salad

  7. What a great, current post! The worst thing to have happened is our shifts in society due to the technology culture. It’s shocking to see so many young generations glued to phones and not getting more exercise! It definitely makes reaching those 10,000 steps harder that’s for sure!
    Life inside the Locket

  8. Yes this is a great post and something that should be shared a lot! It is so vital to get moving and use your energy! It helps with everything from anxiety to sleeping to focus and motivation.
    xx Jenelle

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