Sitting For Too Long Could Be Hurting Your Brain

By now, it’s common knowledge that getting your body moving regularly throughout the day is about more than just staying fit. Sitting for too long can lead to a slew of adverse health effects over time: Past research has shown that sedentary behavior can increase your risk for cardiovascular damage, obesitycertain types of cancer, and even early death. Yikes. And now, a study conducted at Liverpool John Moores University in explains how your brain could also be feeling the effects of extended physical inactivity. Fortunately, the researchers were also able to identify a strategy to offset the effects.

The scientists used ultrasound probes to study the brains of 15 healthy adults as they worked through three seated four-hour sessions. In the first session, the participants sat for the entire four hours uninterrupted. In the second session, they stopped two hours in to take a leisurely eight-minute walk on a treadmill before returning to their desks for another two hours. In the third session, they stood up every 30 minutes to walk on the treadmill for a quick two minutes.

The results came in squarely against long, consecutive work sessions: Those who didn’t get up at all in the four hours saw a dip in blood flow to their brains. The people who got up once midway through their sitting time did have increased blood flow while they were up and moving, but after they returned to their seats and kept working for two more hours, they ended up with even lower blood flow than when they’d started. But those with the frequent walking breaks in between? Their brains actually had more blood flowing by the end of the session than when they’d begun.

As common wisdom about “getting the blood flowing” suggests, the human brain needs a constant supply of blood to function properly. Blood is packed with oxygen and other healthy nutrients; even short-term dips in cerebral blood flow can slow a person’s thinking and memory. That means sitting at your desk for long stretches of time is not only bad for your health—it’s also eating into your productivity.

Moving your legs periodically (aka fidgeting) may help counteract a sedentary lifestyle. You can, of course, also make a point to stand up from your desk regularly or get a standing desk. If there’s no standing desk in your future, there are plenty of other ways to get the blood moving throughout the day: Try changing your sitting position often, give your eyes a break – every 30 minutes of screen time try to take a few minutes to look away from your computer, go outside and try to take the stairs whenever possible.

At the very least, have a bowl of brain-boosting blueberries handy—or within a two-minute walking distance.

Rachel x

Happiness Planner: Focus on what makes you happy!

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I love my new  Happiness Planner it’s a planner like no other. Instead of focusing on productivity, it focuses on “your happiness”. It’s designed to help you welcome more positivity, joy and happiness into your life by applying positive thinking, positive affirmations, mindfulness, gratitude and self-development.

The focus is on making each day a positive experience, building introspection into your routine and increasing self-awareness.

On top of the typical daily pages, this planner is packed with questions and guides that help you become a happier and more positive person.

You are encouraged to:

  • Set goals that will maximize your happiness level.
  • Practice self-reflection so that you understand yourself better.
  • Plan your life around things that truly matter with those who truly matter.
  • Start each day with an exciting and inspiring thought.
  • Cut out things that hold you back.
  • Train your mind to always look at the positive side of things.
  • Learn to master the art of resilience.
  • Strengthen relationships with your loved ones.
  • Spend more time and money on things that truly make you happy
  • Eat healthy and exercise regularly
  • End each day with gratitude

The Happiness Planner comes with an undated 100-day calendar so that you have the flexibility to start whenever you like. In order to make an effective improvement and change in our life, we need to self-reflect periodically and track our progress as we go along. Hence, the planner comes with 100 daily pages instead of 365.

100-day is a perfect length to reap a new habit, a lifestyle change, or an attitude shift.

Rachel x