Sitting has officially been declared the new smoking, and it’s easy to see why. From our office chair to our commute to our couch, we spend an awful lot of time on our butts, and the detrimental effects can be seen in our health. Prolonged sitting has been shown to increase the risk of cancer, heart disease and type two diabetes. Even worse, time spent at the gym can not reverse the damage of long-term sitting to your health. So what’s a girl to do to stay healthy when she’s stuck in a chair all day? A new study says it could be as simple as setting a reminder on your smartphone.
Researchers Darla E. Kendzor, PhD of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Kerem Shuval, PhD of the American Cancer Society set out to discover whether our pocket technology could really have an influence on our sedentary behavior. They strapped accelerometers to study participants to measure their movement and gave each person a smartphone to carry for seven days. If they were recorded as sitting for more than two hours at a time, or reported that they were in a seated position when they received random check-ins from the researchers, they were immediately sent a reminder message about the impact of sitting on their health and encouragement to stand up and move their bodies.
After the seven-day assessment, participants logged significantly less time being sedentary and more time being active. Accelerometer wearers recorded an increase in activity by 25 minutes by moving their bodies at each prompt.
“Overall, simple smartphone prompts appear to be a promising strategy for reducing sedentary behavior and increasing activity,” say the study authors, which is great news for those of us glued to a seat and our smartphones. Ready to take charge of your health? Set up some reminders in your app of choice, or fall back on your trusty alarm clock. Use the electronic cue to get up and take a lap around the office, and know that each break is doing some serious good for your health.
Got any more tips for getting those steps in and cutting down on sitting? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
(Photo via Getty)