We all know that sitting for too long isn’t good for you. If you haven’t perfected your desk set-up and are hunched over your screen or slouched down in your chair it is even worse for you. However, a new study by Liverpool John Moores University revealed that we should be getting up and moving every half an hour.
The researchers discovered that sitting down for prolonged amounts of time can slow the blood flow around our body and to our brains. The study of a small group of men and women was split into three sessions to determine the best method for keeping the blood flow to the brain on an even keel. The first test was four hours of sitting and working at a computer screen, the second included a two and half minute walk on a treadmill every 30 minutes, the third session was an eight minute walk on a treadmill every two hours.
While taking an eight minute break every two hours did help increase blood flow to your brain, it wasn’t able to sustain it as well as taking a shorter break every half an hour.
The study didn’t look into the impact of low blood flow to your brain or whether it impacted productivity, but it did put more weight behind the theory that spending too much of your day sitting down isn’t good for you.
Previous studies have linked sitting too long with excessive weight gain, type 2 diabetes and other serious diseases. According to the NHS, many adults in the UK spend over seven hours sitting each day and as a result, it recommends we do at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. One study recently revealed that doing an hour of exercise each day could help ward off the effects of prolonged sitting.
If that feels you with dread, making small tweaks such as requesting a standing-desk at work, choose to stand rather than sit on the train et cetera. It goes without saying that swapping watching TV for playing tennis after work will also help improve your health. Whichever tweaks to choose to make, it’s definitely worth setting a reminder to get up more at work.
If you had to guess, how long do you think you can focus on one task without getting distracted? With emails and Facebook notifications popping up on your screen, not to mention the temptation of checking What’s App messages or news alerts on your phone, it’s much harder than you think to stay focused.
Most of us check our phone at least 28 times a day and spend well over 60 minutes on it. Don’t believe me? Download Moment, a phone app that tracks your daily phone usage and highlights just how much you use it. Aside from avoiding your phone though, how else can we stay focused and boost our productivity levels? Read More…
Q: I’m 50-something, and want to keep my brain sharp, stop my memory fading, and prevent Alzheimer’s if possible. Can anything help?
A: Although there are no guarantees, there is increasing evidence that simple lifestyle shifts can help cut the risk of a fading memory, brain slowdown and even dementia, say nutritionist and mental health expert Patrick Holford and co-author Jerome Burne in their latest book The 10 Secrets of Healthy Ageing (Piatkus, £14.99*). It is‘a brilliant guide to making the right choices about ageing well’, according to Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the NHS Alliance.
Take a vitamin B supplement. Research at Oxford University showed that reducing high levels of homocysteine, a protein in the brain linked to cognitive decline, dementia and heart disease, with high-dose B vitamins helped prevent mild age-related memory loss. Try Viridian High Twelve B Complex, £14.70. Also take vitamin D. Low levels of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ are linked to cognitive decline in the elderly; deficiency is common. Try D Lux 1000 Spray by Better You, £7.15. Read More…