As you have secretly suspected all along, the college student lifestyle is slowly killing you. What might surprise you is that the culprit isn’t that Genetics test you’ve been dreading, but actually the sheer amount sitting you do on a daily basis. This may sound extreme, but studies have linked a higher amount of daily total sitting to higher mortality rates, particularly among inactive adults.
“Clearly,” you say, “this just means I need to hit the SRC every day, and I’ll be good to go.” While that’s a great idea for a host of other reasons, studies show that consistent, vigorous workouts don’t have much effect on the damage done to your body from sitting all day in class, at the library, and in front of the TV.
Before you drop out of school and start looking at joining the circus, here are a few things you can do mitigate the sitting damage.
Maintain Proper Posture
Isn’t it refreshing to know that all those people that told you not to slouch weren’t trying to nag you, but were actually concerned for your mortal safety? Good posture has many benefits for the mind and the body, such as:
- Improved organ function
- Reduced tension/pain in the neck, shoulders, and back
- Increased concentration and mental performance
- Humped shoulders prevention
- Increased height
- “Beer belly” prevention
- Increased confidence
If you look like the picture below, then you’re doing it right.
Stretch While You Sit
Staying active throughout the day is the best way to guard yourself against the harms of the sedentary lifestyle. Finding creative ways to exercise throughout the day is a great place to start. Another great option is chair yoga. Below are some moves you can try if you feel yourself getting stiff in your seat. Any stares you receive will almost certainly be out of admiration.
Remember never push your body to a point that causes pain. You’ll still get the benefit of these poses even if you are not very flexible. The best part is, if you do yoga on a regular basis, your flexibility and strength will increase.
There may not be any way to avoid sitting for several hours a day as a college student, but by staying active and giving a few of these tips a try, you might just make it out of here alive.