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Taking A Stand Against Sitting

February 7, 2012, 6:09 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Taking A Stand Against Sitting
SIOUX FALLS, SD -  
From working at a desk to driving to work, many spend most of the day sitting. Now some medical experts say all that sitting is a health hazard. They say what's known as "sitting disease" could be linked to an increase in obesity and diabetes.

Jessica DeJong gets a work out in during her work day. Raven Industries has its own gym in Sioux Falls where employees can exercise.

"There's days I wouldn't be able to get in a workout if this wasn't here," DeJong said.

With DeJong's day spent mostly sitting at a desk, it's even more important. Research shows the more you sit, the higher your risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

"Articles I've read say that even if you exercise in ten minute spurts but do multiple times a day, it's almost as effective as doing a 30-minute spurt at one time," Sanford Occupational Medicine Dr. Clayton Van Balen said.

If you aren't able to get a full workout in, Dr. Van Balen says even stretching or walking a bit can help.

"Make sure they get up and stretch when it's possible. On their breaks, be able to do the stretching exercises both in their neck, arms, wrist and elbows," Van Balen said.

And with many people in KELOLAND sitting behind desks, Van Balen encourages not only employees, but employers to take a step against sitting disease.

"It's also better for companies. Those people are going to have fewer health care costs for those people. And the end result is those companies are going to benefit," Van Balen said.

It's a health benefit DeJong is thankful for, not just for herself, but also her family.

"I have two small children at home. So, this is just a fantastic place to be able to come and get up during my work day, take some time off, relax, let off a little stress, and then go back to my desk and keep working," DeJong said.

Dr. Van Balen also says practicing good posture at your desk can also help. The top of your computer monitor should line up with the top of your head, your hips should be as far back as possible in your chair, and your knees should be bent at 90 degrees.

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