I recently read a New York Times article that highlighted the serious dangers of a living a sedentary lifestyle.
Gretchen Reynolds, the author of “Don’t Just Sit There,” found that sedentary lifestyles can lead to illness, irregular insulin levels, and in worst-case scenarios — premature death — among other health issues.
However, the scariest revelation made by Reynolds, was that working out for an hour or so each day does little to counteract the negative affects of a sedentary lifestyle, if you’re still sitting around for hours after each workout. And this is more common than you might think. “Your typical modern exerciser, even someone who runs, subsequently sits for hours afterward, often moving less over all than on days when he or she does not work out,” revealed Reynolds.
Think about how this may apply to your members. Are they coming into your club, working out hard for an hour or so, and then leaving to “veg” out on the couch, or sit, hunched over their desks, at work?
If that’s the case, your members could be at serious risk for health issues. Additionally, they could be dampening their progress towards their fitness goals. During her research for “Don’t Just Sit There,” Reynolds found that participants in studies burned hundreds more calories standing, than they did sitting for the same period of time.
So what can you do? Educate your members about the importance of being active in your gym, AND outside of it. Send out e-blasts with tips on how to move at work, and at home. Post signs highlighting the benefits of staying in motion all day.
Take tips from Reyonolds to share with your members. After her research, Reynolds applied what she learned in her studies, to her daily life.
“So every 20 minutes or so, I now rise. I don’t have a desk treadmill; my office is too small, and my budget too slim. But I prop my papers on a music stand and read standing up. I prowl my office while I talk on the phone. (I also stand on one foot when I brush my teeth at night, which has little to do with reducing inactivity but may be one of the more transformative actions I’ve picked up from researching fitness. My balance and physical confidence have improved, and my husband is consistently amused, which is not a bad foundation for marital health.)”
If Reynolds could get past her excuses to stay inactive (a small office, no time), your members can too!
1. Don’t sit during your entire lunch break.
2. Don’t save yourself trips.
3. Tag along for the coffee break.
4. Say “No” to the elevator.
And make sure you’re practicing what you preach — your individual health is just as important as that of your members.
Rachel Zabonick is the Assistant Editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.