Why is sitting and inactivity BAD for our health?

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Metabolic changes occur almost immediately in the body and it can be hours not days or weeks for disease processes to begin. Over the past decade, scientists have observed that levels of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) drop in muscles left inactive for too long.

Burned as fuel, this enzyme is responsible for drawing fat from the bloodstream into muscles. When the muscles do not need any fuel, the fat remains in the bloodstream and causes disease elsewhere in the body.

Low levels of LPL, caused by physical inactivity, are linked to increased triglycerides (cholesterol that causes stroke and heart attack), decreased high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol), and decreased insulin sensitivity (eventual diabetes).

Vascular health is also at risk as blood flow volume and distribution slow to vital organs and the vasculature constricts causing an increase in resting blood pressure. This is a precursor to disease and eventual early death.

Here is a one minute break to increase lipoprotein lipase in your blood:

Forearm Stretch

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In a standing position, with your palm down, gently pull your wrist towards the underside of the forearm. You should feel a stretch on the top side of your forearm. In this same position, pull your wrist toward the top of the forearm. You should feel a stretch on the underside of your forearm. This is good to lengthen the muscles that cause problems at the elbow and wrist. Hold each position for ten seconds and repeat three times on each wrist.

For more one minute breaks check out Chapter 5 of my book,  Health at Your Desk.

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