The High Price of Sitting Down

 

Healthcare. It’s on everyone’s mind these days, and for good reason. Between the soaring cost of health insurance premiums, increasing co-pays and skyrocketing deductibles plus the outrageous cost of some medications—it’s enough to give you a heart attack.

But lest you think there’s nothing you can do to keep your family’s healthcare costs under control, I have good news. You can. You have the power.

Some rights reserved by Victor1558

Some rights reserved by Victor1558

The best way to cut medical costs is to prevent them in the first place. I am talking about lifestyle, small changes to save you money and improve your quality of life. 

How much money are we talking about? A recent study by the Credit Union National Association reveals that medical expenses are the leading contributor to credit-card debt, with low- to moderate-income households averaging $1,678 in credit-card debt annually, due to out-of-pocket medical expenses. Imagine how this number may grow as healthcare costs rise.

Have you had enough? Ready to cut your medical costs? Awesome. We’ll do this together.

Stand up. Sitting on our bottoms—at work, at school, at home, in a car, in a chair, on a sofa, in front of the television—has recently been linked to all kind of health problems. In fact, according to a recent issue of Physical Activity & Health, sitting too many hours in a day is costly because it contributes to high blood pressure, increased blood sugar, a higher risk of blood clots and (gasp!) sluggish bowels. Health professionals are beginning to equate sitting to smoking in terms of harm to overall health.

Make it easy: Identify a daily activity like talking on the phone, texting or reading that you will no longer participate in while seated. Do these things while standing. I love to knit and—you guessed it—I now stand and knit. It’s not bad. In fact, I’m quite enjoying this because I find I’m more alert, I think I am knitting fast and making fewer mistakes.

Drink up. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Water. We already know this, right? Then why, are up to 75 percent of Americans falling short of the daily amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine—91 ounces for women and 125 ounces for men? Could it be that we’re depending on pricey sodas, juices, vitamin water, coffee and tea for hydration? Water is much better for us and it’s practically free.

According to WebMD.com: 1) Water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. 2) Water helps control calorie intake. 3) Water helps energize muscles. 4) Water helps keep skin looking good. 5) Water keeps kidney’s healthy and kidney stones at bay. 6) Water keeps the bowels functioning properly.

Make it easy: First commit to water as your beverage of choice. Then invest in a great water bottle like the one I have from Contingo. It’s easy to use, helps me keep track of my daily intake and it’s just the right size to not misplace. It’s made all the difference for me.

Sleep more. Sleep, we are learning, plays a huge role good health. Sleep will curb inflammation—now being linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging—and improve your memory. Just imagine all of the money being spent these days on those particular health issues that may well be simply slept away.

Make it easy: Instead of (or in addition to) setting the alarm to wake up, set it to remind you to go to bed. Make it a non-negotiable to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

Getting off your bottom, drinking more water and sleeping more hours—three simple way to improve your health and bottom line, too.

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3 replies
  1. greta
    greta says:

    GREAT encouragement! We know we need to do this, but it is so easy to NOT follow through. Thanks for one more KIND and gentle reminder to keep doing the UNCOSTLY things which have powerful benefits.

    Reply
  2. Susan
    Susan says:

    Thanks for the great post. HOW you sit is also very important. I had back problems and siatica, then took a yoga class in how to sit (you don’t need a special chair, we used folding chairs from WalMart), and at the same time, I started strength training..Now I am generally pain-free. At the same time, I started strength training. There are non-invasive, low-cost alternatives to solve some major health problems. But you have to search for them.

    Reply
  3. Aja @PrinciplesofIncrease
    Aja @PrinciplesofIncrease says:

    This is so true. I work from home and notice that when I have lots of screen time my back gets sore. I will be working with a PT to help with this and understand ergonomically correct work settings.

    Reply

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