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The High Performance Journal

5 Habits To Reverse The Damage Of Sitting

get lean Sep 12, 2023

The High Performance Journal​ - September 12th 2023


I have a love/hate relationship with modern living.

On the one hand, it's given us an immense level of comfort. On the other hand, that same level of comfort has led to other problems.

More specifically, health problems and chronic pain.

Extended sitting behind a desk or even in front of a wheel can be harmful.

Researchers analyzed 13 studies of sitting time and activity levels. They found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.

Sitting in a slouched posture can lead to low back and neck pain due to overstretching of the spinal ligaments and discs.

Humans were not meant to sit at desks. They were meant to move. So let's fix that.

In today's article, I'm going to show you 5 habits you can start doing now to fight the effects of too much sitting. Do these consistently enough and I guarantee you'll feel better as a result.

5 Habits to Reverse the Damage of Sitting

#1 - Movement/Exercise

Researchers recruited 8,000 people 45 years and older and asked them to wear an activity monitor for a week. They then followed up with the participants for up to 10 years.

What they found was even small amounts of movement throughout the day counteracted the ill effects of sitting. 30 minutes of exercise a day leads to a 17% lower risk of dying. If the exercise was vigorous they had a 35% lower rate of dying.

As someone once said,

"A person who is sedentary and does not drink/smoke will die before a person who exercises and drinks/smokes"

Exercise is the best way to counteract the effects of sitting.

But what kind? Read on...

#2 - Strength Training

Resistance training is your best bang for buck exercise to counteract the nasty effects of sitting.

We lose 3-8% of muscle every decade and this number accelerates after the age of 60.

Training with weights using progressive overload and good form helps you build and keep your muscles, which helps you stay functional for life.

The exercises I would focus on to reverse the effects of sitting would be upper body pull exercises like back rows and lat pull downs and lower body exercises like the hip thrust, deadlift, and squat.

Strength training not only counts as exercise, it acts as your retirement and insurance plan while making you more confident in your body.

It's a big reason why strength circuits are our primary form of exercise in our Lean Body 90 program.

#3 - Standing While Working

People at work spend on average 65-75% of their work time sitting.

The easiest way to counteract this is to use an adjustable standing desk. It's a small investment that goes a long way towards protecting your body.

Also, ask your employer if there's a budget for alternative desk options. Many companies subsidize work environment options for their employees, so it can't hurt to ask before you buy your own.

#4 - Sneaky Moves

The best type of exercise is the one you don't realize you're doing.

There are some sneaky ways to get more movement throughout your day.

One of them is walking meetings. Not every meeting needs to be taken sitting on a Zoom call. Some can be done outside while walking out in nature. You'll also find your brain working much better as a result.

Another is to park your car further away from your target destination or to take the stairs instead of the escalator.

My friend Justin Welsh loves to watch football so he parked his treadmill in front of his TV and did 6 hours of walking while watching sports.

I have another friend who loves to play video games so he put his stationary bike in front of his TV and played Elden Ring.

Some sneaky ways exist to get more movement in without thinking about it.

#5 - Mobility & Muscle Activation

The final one is people who deal with chronic pain due to sitting.

Sitting for too long can weaken your glutes and core while making your hip flexors and neck inflexible due to underuse.

The best way to avoid this is to add some mobility and muscle activation to the areas of your body that need attention.

Reversing the Damage of Sitting

  1. Movement/exercise
  2. Strength training
  3. Standing while working
  4. Sneaky Movement
  5. Mobility and Muscle Activation


Here's how you should approach this list:

Choose 1-2 that you're currently not doing. Focus on that for the next 21 days. Then move on to the next one and then the next one.

One of the best ways to reverse the effects of sitting is to have a system that keeps your body lean, mobile and energetic.

If that's a goal of yours, consider joining 1000+ other desk workers in my flagship course Lean Body 90.

I take you through the exact system I use to help my clients get lean and energetic in only 90 minutes a week. You'll get 11 chapters and hundreds of instructional video content on building a lean body, boosting energy, building muscle, becoming the healthiest version of yourself, and much more.

Click here to get the system we use to get high performers into their best shape in record time.

Or, if you're not ready yet, give this guide a try and let me know how it works for you.

Onwards and upwards 🚀

- Dan

Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

1. Are you an entrepreneur who wants to get lean, boost energy, and get in your best shape in a way that fits your busy lifestyle? Apply for private one-on-one coaching here.​

2. If you’re still looking to get lean, I’d recommend starting with an affordable course:

The Lean Body 90 System: Transform your body with the Lean Body 90 system. This comprehensive course will teach you the system I use to help my clients become lean and energetic in 90 days in only 90 minutes a week. Join 1000+ students here.

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