Runners Against Sitting

It has been all over the news. Sitting is the new smoking of our generation. It will kill most of and causes more problems than if we were just to simply move as our bodies are intended to do. Something as simple as sitting, go figure. There have been so many infographics (which I tend to gravitate towards) going around depicting the risks and putting it into perspective for many who may have overlooked this subtle threat. While there are arguments that have since stemmed, everything from well I have a desk job to walking desks or Bosu balls are not offered in my place of work, this is still an issue you should think about.

Starting in November, I pledged with Brooks Running to NOT sit for at least 100 hours in the month of November. This is an incredibly well done campaign, Campaign Against Sitting, where you stand up to being sedentary. You can take the pledge on their website and share it with others as well. It’s intentions, in my opinion, are to really target runners (hence, being sponsored by Brooks). We often think that because we are runners, we are immune to all of the other public health warnings out there. I mean, even as a health professional, I silently giggle to myself as the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans require a mere 150 minutes of moderate activity or 150 minutes of vigorous activity for additional health benefits per week. That is 2 hours and 30 minutes, which equates to one long run per week.

Does that make me immune to the other dangers out there? Definitely not. I have been wearing and tracking my health progress with a JawboneUp and, contrary to my belief, I spend a lot of time sedentary. Quick trips to the bathroom, to refill my water, walking to the parking garage, etc. only account for so much. On a typical day, I average 10 miles moved, 5-8 of which are running. You can do the math to see how one-sided I am. But consistent movement and reminders to get up and move are a step in the right direction.

Some of you runners also probably saw the article posted by the New York Times Well Blog over the past week titled, “The Marathon Runner as Couch Potato.” It is definitely worth the read if you get a chance. There are many valid points in the article. On average, a runner’s workday consists of 10 sedentary hours versus a non-workday of 8. Fast and slow runners alike. There are 24 hours in your day, ideally you get 8 hours sleeping, 2 working out/running, 2 of lightly active movement, and the other 12 sitting. Meaning, you are not moving for 20 hours per day. That is just absurd. Just because we are marathoner runners does not put us into a separate bracket. Sure we have a different physical make-up, stronger (potentially) hearts, a sturdy core and tight leg muscles, and reap the physiological benefits received while running and relieving stress, but it may be counter-acted upon once we throw sitting into the mix.

With the holidays being closer than you think, there is no better time than now to kick-start your physical activity habits. Even if you are a runner who gets their run in every single day, it is what you are doing with the rest of your day that really matters. Heck, I am even sitting writing this. It is time to take a stand, literally.