WELL & Sustainability Consultant at WELL Space

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Sustainable Design Principles Event (SDPE) is an annual event aimed at engaging and educating the design and construction industry on sustainable design principles and products. This years event topic is: Use & Application of Sustainable Materials to Commercial & Residential Projects and will be held on the 11th September 2014.

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Sitting Kills, Movement Heals by Vanessa Leone, Movement Therapist

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Famous words from a world famous NASA Scientist, Dr. Joan Vernikos. Dr. Joan was asked to work for NASA as a stress expert and quickly realised the negative effects that zero gravity has on the human body. From that realisation she re-created the effects of space and zero gravity on earth. The best way to re-create outer space on earth? What you are probably doing right now to read this article, sitting. Particularly for eight or more hours a day.

We all know how harmful smoking is and there is a lot of research to support that. There is now a growing body of evidence to suggest the effects of prolonged sitting may be worse than smoking. These effects can include obesity, metabolic disease, increased cancer risk, psychological harm, disruption of sex hormones, metabolic dysfunction, increased inflammation and diminished vitamin handling. The most worrying part of this research claims that even if you go to the gym or exercise for more than 30 minutes a day, you may still not be able to reverse these effects.

You may be reading this and silently freaking out wondering if it’s all just completely useless. Don’t worry, Dr. Joan completed her research and came up with an extremely simple and effective solution. The bare minimum to overcome these severe effects is to make sure you are standing up and sitting back down at least 30 times a day. Set up a timer on your phone, computer to sound every 20 minutes then stand up and sit back down. Sit, stand, breathe, repeat! I love that it is super simple.

The best thing about this amazingly simple suggestion is that I have evidence that it works. One of my clients changed nothing else about his habits, not his food, he didn’t exercise more (he was at the time exercising twice a week), didn’t walk more to and from work. He made sure that he set that timer and 6 weeks later he lost 4 kg. Now you may not get these startling results as quickly, but there is proof that it works.

Upon seeing such fantastic results for one of my clients, I then started suggesting it to many others. One client decided that she would stand 30 times, but also added some small hip and torso stretches every second or third time she stood. One month later, her chronic back and neck pain had eased significantly and her quality of life hugely improved. This in no way affected her ability to complete her work for the day and not surprisingly actually increased her energy levels and attention span. She was happier, more alert and in less pain and the solution is brilliantly simple.

I am not saying that exercise and good eating are futile or pointless. I am suggesting however that by adding good nutrition, exercise as frequently as possible and by standing more you can significantly change your health. Every second or third time your timer sounds perform these stretches and feel how much more alert, awake and in less pain you are.

















This simple act of standing and adding a little bit of movement to your day can aid in maintaining a healthy weight, decrease your stress levels and decrease your risk of an extremely long list of diseases.  I can’t recommend it enough and neither can Dr. Joan Vernikos.

For more information go to vanessaleone.com.au

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