The chair is a killer

As we are all now spending more time in our living rooms it is a good time to remember the mantra ‘the chair can kill so don’t sit still.’

There was a really interesting episode of Horizon on the BBC exposing ‘The Truth About Exercise’. It raised some excellent and thought provoking points, not least that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to exercise is not the way forward, we need less generic fitness manuals. As we all respond to and like different things so it will be with our chosen form of exercise.

However, for me the most striking point was raised by Dr. James Levine (Mayo Clinic) who claimed with a touch of hyperbole that “the chair is a killer”. He is advocating a ‘get moving stay active’ approach to health.

In the episode presenter Michael Mosley tested the theory for 24 hours. He admitted to a sedentary job and similar lifestyle so for the 24 hours he moved about as much as possible, standing when talking on the telephone, taking stairs instead of lifts, walking whenever possible.

Just everyday activities we can all take advantage of if we put our minds (and bodies) to it. In the one day he burned an extra 500 calories – no sweat, no cost, no extra time, very little effort but a great result.

By simply moving more in our daily lives we could see real health benefits, more so if we are currently stuck in a sedentary way of life.

I accept that this is a limited form of exercise but it is an excellent starting point for anyone new to exercise and a way to increase for those of us already convinced of the benefits of staying fit and active.

So my challenge to us all echoes Dr. Levine – my new mantra is ‘the chair can kill so don’t sit still’. I invite you to join me.

*If you have any medical condition or are unused to physical exercise it is advisable to consult your physician before beginning any exercise programme.