Edited by Rachel Sanders & Caitlin Cammack
Do you find yourself feeling absolutely exhausted at the end of a long day of sitting in class? Even if you haven’t made it to the gym, yet? If you nap after hours of sitting in class or work, you are not alone. Being sedentary for multiple hours can actually make you feel tired. The answer may be as simple as moving more. James A. Levine, M.D., Ph.D., a physician at Mayo Clinic, warns Americans to be mindful about getting their activity levels up from what is now at a dangerously low level.
Our Liberty campus dietitian, Rachel Sanders, MPH, RD, has launched a Liberty specific program called Mindful Miles to address this issue! Not everyone enjoys going to the gym for organized exercise, and that’s OK. The key is to be active in a way you enjoy! The benefits of exercise are too significant to not participate in it though. An easy way to be more active is to fit it into your daily routine: walk to your class instead of taking the bus, have a walking meeting, or take half of your lunch break to walk. Use the following map for Mindful Mile ideas around Liberty’s campus.
Mindful Mile routes include:
- Orange line = walking from Reber to Commons 2
- 0.8 miles
- Took 14 mins
- Blue line = Walking from David’s Place to Reber
- 1 mile
- Took 17 mins
- Magenta line = Walking from Reber to LaHaye
- 1.86 miles
- Took 33 mins
Research has proven that adults who spent less than 2 hours per day in front of screen-based entertainment have better health outcomes than those who logged more than four hours of sedentary screen time. Those participants who engage in longer amounts of screen time have about a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause and approximately 125 percent increased risk of events related with cardiovascular diseases such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack.
Additionally, just screen time is not the major issue of concern. What we need to take from this study is to be mindful about movement. Any amount of extended sitting like working at a station or driving for long periods has the potential to harm if practiced chronically. Levine states, “What’s more, spending a few hours a week at the gym or otherwise engaged in moderate or vigorous activity doesn’t seem to significantly offset the risk.”
It takes movement throughout the day and purposeful activity and random reminders to move in order to avoid a negative health consequence. Any kind of movement, even walking, can have an impact on your health. Movement helps maintain a good metabolism which helps with weight loss and disease prevention. Sitting for long amounts of time has the opposite effect on the body. Following the Mindful Mile around Liberty University takes less time than you might think. Refer to the grid for completion estimations. The health benefits of being continually active are hard to resist when you think about long term health.
Levine, J. A., M.D., Ph.D. (2015, September 04). Too much sitting is bad for your health. Retrieved February 05, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005