Yesterday I was speaking to the R.U.M group – Retired and under-employed men and what fun we had! My topic was titled, 80 is the New 70. I wish I could say that my generation is following in their footsteps, but sadly we are not. 40 is definitely NOT the new 30!
Post updated September, 2018
So what is going on with us 40-somethings? My clients tell me they feel ancient and they worry about feeling older than their years. Today’s 40-somethings are aging badly!
Sitting is the new aging disease.
We are sitting longer than we ever have before. In 2012, a group of Australian scientists conducted a study on sitting. They looked at over 200,000 people over the age of 45 and what they found just might shock you.
They discovered that study participants who sat for more than 11 hours a day, had a 40% increased risk of dying within the next three years, compared to those who sat for only four hours. Yikes; who sits for only four hours a day?!
One of the problems with all this sitting, is that it is ruining our posture. When we sit for prolonged periods, our heads travel forward, our backs hunch and we lose flexibility in our rib cage.
When our thorax loses flexibility, we can’t breathe properly. So slouching long-term leads to reduced vital lung capacity.
Related: How to Fix a Sway Back
When our ability to breathe is impaired and the amount of oxygen to our lungs decreases, we invite health problems:
- Concentration and memory difficulties
- Muscle pain
- Coordination problems
- Heart strain (the heart needs to pump faster to circulate more oxygen)
Get a wiggle on
Why did the R.U.M gentlemen fair better than most of us 40-somethings? Probably because they grew up climbing trees, playing sport and likely walked several miles to and from school every day!
Some of us were lucky enough not to grow up with the internet (yeah) but our desk-based mobile lives are quickly changing the appearance of our body’s posture, with harmful effects to our health and well-being.
If you can’t do anything immediately about the number of hours that you sit, you can learn to become an active sitter.
My wiggleosophy is all about active sitting, which involves learning to put a wiggle in your sit – it really is quite fun! Ever notice how children sit at the dinner table? Kids fidget, wiggle and stir, because they innately know that motion is lotion! Movement is music to their central nervous system. We could learn a lot for our children.
Try these desk wiggles now
Move toward the edge of your chair; feet shoulder width apart. Now take loose fists and begin to gently thump the front and sides of your thighs. Do that for 20 seconds and then do the same to your buttocks.
Do this once every hour to improve blood circulation, in order to wake up tired achy muscles – feels great!
Next, start to wiggle and jiggle your body from top to toe – shake your head and neck gently back and forth, shake through your torso, arms and shake out your wrists, hands and fingers. Then let the shake travel through your buttocks, thighs and calves by coming up onto the tips of your toes.
You may get some strange looks at the office, but hey it won’t be long before your co-workers follow your lead. Continue to vibrate, pulsate, shiver and quake through your body top to toe, for an entire minute.
Now stop and observe and feel the energy buzz of your awakened body. It feels amazing. Do this every hour. Bonus – it’s a great way to relieve stress!
Fit or Flop?
It’s time to take back our 40s – I don’t know about you, but I want to be skiing at 80! If we can’t avoid long hours at the office sitting, we need to do the next best thing and put a wiggle in our sit.
What secret movement tricks do you use to keep your body alert and active during your work day? Please share, I’d love to try them!