So I’m in a bit of a state of panic at the moment because according to a new survey out of the UK, office workers are doubling their risk of suffering potentially life threatening blood clots because they sit for hours at a time, eat lunch at their desks and then go home to sit on the couch.
I work at a desk, I eat lunch at my desk, I commute and I’ve had blood clots before (factor v leiden) so this news coming out of the woodwork today is kind of making me squeamish to say the least.
In countries like the USA and yes, even Australia, obesity and diabetes are on the rise – all linked to fast food outlets and a lack of exercising enthusiasm. Heart disease has also contributed to death rates, becoming the number one killer of women in the land down under according to the Heart Foundation, but when we take a look at the bigger picture, what is really killing us?
The answer is simple.
It’s our sedentary lifestyles.
There are a myriad of illnesses and disorders that get worse as the lack of healthy foods and exercise become the norm in a person’s lifestyle. Diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, heart failure, obesity, respiratory ailments – they are all the end result of a chilled out lifestyle. And in fact, it’s been reported – and researched in Asia- that sedentary lifestyles cause more deaths than smoking!
It was found in the UK survey (1,000 people aged under 30 were questioned) that young desk-bound professionals sat still for an average of three hours while three-quarters ate lunch at their desks instead of taking the opportunity to move around, which would reduce their risk of a clot.
Then an astonishing eight out of ten spent the evening sitting on their couches! Probably watching Game of Thrones or waiting for the next installment of True Blood.
I have to admit, I am guilty of the eating-lunch-at-my-desk thing but at least once a day I get out of that routine to take a walk to the shops, get some fresh air, hit myself up on sun rays and move the blood. The evening will usually take me for a run or a walk but doing that physical activity for one hour or two certainly doesn’t counteract the eight hours I’m in front of a computer.
People with Factor V Leiden mutation will understand the panic setting in but now I’m thinking…it’s not really new, is it? It’s common sense that if you don’t move around a lot you’ll become lazy and unhealthy which is why I’ve always made the effort to move.
People ten years my junior just don’t take this sort of advice seriously – and I’m horrified that they will most likely learn the hard way. At some stage, their metabolism will slow down and they’ll start gaining weight, they’d have partied too hard at the nightclubs and pubs (like I did, have no worry about that!) and then decide to just sit and drink at home…
It’s more important than ever to believe the cliche “treat your body like a temple”. You only have one body – take care of it.
And get moving! Take the dog for a walk, do some vacuuming, try running, join a community sporting team, play with your children. It could mean the difference between life and death-by-clot.
*If you have ever suffered from a blood clot, deep vein thrombosis, have factor v leiden or another blood disorder and are lacking a support group, join my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/factorvleidenmutation