Growing up, there were a number of things that I was not allowed to do. Mostly pretty standard things, like ‘don't talk to strangers', ‘don't answer back' and ‘don't fight with your brothers'. But the thing that always baffled me was the rule - ‘don't chew gum'.
My father says it ‘looks common' and my mother used to warn me that I'd get it in my hair. She was right. I did get chewing gum stuck in my hair once; I was at a friend's sixth birthday party and had to have a large chunk of my hair cut off.
But there is good news for all the Violet Beauregarde's out there - chewing gum can help lower your risk of early death.
According to the Heart Foundation, sitting (or sedentary behaviour) is directly linked to health problems such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. A recent research study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that desk jobs raise cancer risk.
Interestingly, risk of chronic disease is not necessarily mitigated by the few hours a week we might spend pumping weights, at zumba or pounding the pavement. However, by decreasing the amount of time you spend sitting and by ensuring you are getting enough physical activity throughout your day, you will have better health outcomes.
So, fidgeting, moving about, getting up and down, standing (and chewing gum) wherever possible can help cut your cancer risk.
Have a look at the Heart Foundation's recommendations of ways to sit less at home, at work and while travelling. It's simple things that you can work into your day such as, standing up while reading the paper or checking your mobile phone messages, having standing or walking meetings at work and moving away form your desk every 30 minutes.
The importance of eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and getting enough physical activity can't be underestimated when it comes to prevention. Research release by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that on a global scale 3.2 million people die each year as a result of a lack of physical activity and at least 2.8 million as a result of being overweight or obese.
I am doing my best to not ring or email people in the same building but walk and see them instead. We also have standing and walking meetings from time to time. I am yet to master walking and writing at the same time, so note-taking can be tricky. I sit next to Helen and she has put her work phone on a high shelf so she has to stand up to answer the phone.
Have you got any more ideas about easy things that can be worked into your day to reduce the amount of time you spend being inactive and sitting on your bum?
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