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When sitting down is good for you

Blog/When sitting down is good for you

If you’re anything like me, because of your work, you probably sit for most of your day.

Well it’s been said that sitting is the new smoking - which, actually it’s not, I hasten to add. It doesn’t even come close! But the truth behind that statement is that in this day and age, we all do sit for far too much of our day.

In fact, it’s been estimated that if you work at a desk, you sit for an average of 15 hours a day. 15 hours!

And given that we’re meant to sleep for 8 hours, that’s barely an hour of movement that people are now getting each day.

Yikes!

Being inactive is linked to poor metabolic health, poor cardiovascular health AND poor mental health. Since serotonin, one of our happy hormones is boosted when we exercise (along with endorphins of course.)

The irony is though, that the time when we need to actually be sitting, we’re not.

And that is when we're eating.

Too often we eat while doing other things.
We eat and walk around.
We eat while dashing between meetings.
We eat while we’re doing…(insert a million and one different things)….
We don’t just eat. We eat AND.,,,

Yet when we eat this way, it’s not helping us to properly digest our food.

Almost 1 in 3 people now complain of IBS - irritable bowel syndrome. Which is when there is no structural problem - no visible inflammation in the gut or autoimmune condition that affects how the digestive tract works. IBS is a functional gut issue, meaning that when certain food enters the gut, it isn’t broken down in the way it’s meant.

But even if you don’t have IBS (yet!) it is very good for you to sit down when you eat.

That’s because we digest our food best in parasympathetic nervous system dominance. Which is really just a fancy way of saying when your stress response is switched OFF and your 'rest and digest' mode is switched fully ON.

Our body is designed to do its best digesting when we are sitting and fully relaxed. That is when our digestive system is primed, which includes optimal flow of our digestive juices, which help to break down and assimilate our food. And all of this helps to boost your metabolism too. Woo hoo!

So next time you are truly hungry and it’s time to eat. STOP. Put your phone aside. Put food on your plate. Grab whatever utensils you need and grab a seat so you can sit and eat.

It can also help to take a few breaths to really calm and clear your mind before taking your first bite.

But most of all, be present and aware while you eat. You will enjoy your food more and digest it optimally too.
And who doesn’t want that?

If you'd like to improve the way you eat, join my 5-day free Conscious Eating Challenge.


​Photo by Jonathan Sanchez on Unsplash

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Hey! I'm Caroline

Dietitian & Eating Psychology Coach

Don't waste your time, destroy your energy levels or mess with your health by going on diets, restricting carbs or counting calories.

Life it to be enjoyed.

I believe you can live life AND manage your weight.

I share my thoughts on how you can do that on this blog...

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