Mind & Body

The High Cost of Sitting Down

TIMEDecember 8, 2021

Wellness. Health care. Both are on everyone’s mind these days, and for good reason. Between the soaring cost of health insurance premiums, increasing copays and skyrocketing deductibles, plus the outrageous cost of some medications, it’s enough to give you a heart attack.

But lest you think there’s nothing you can do to keep your family’s health care costs under control, I have good news: You can. You have the power.

The best way to cut medical costs is to prevent them in the first place. I am talking about small lifestyle changes to save you money and improve your quality of life.

How much money are we talking about? Medical financial hardships have affected about 137.1 million adults in the past year, according to recent research. And many Americans are turning to credit cards to help manage those debt burdens.

Have you had enough? Ready to cut your medical costs? Awesome. We’ll do this together.

Stand Up

Sitting on our bottoms—at work, at school, at home, in a car, in a chair, on a sofa, in front of the television—has recently been linked to all kinds of health problems. In fact, according to Physical Activity and Health, sitting too many hours in a day is costly because it contributes to high blood pressure, increased blood sugar, a higher risk of blood clots, and (gasp!) sluggish bowels. Health professionals are beginning to equate sitting to smoking in terms of harm to overall health.

Make It Easy

Identify a daily activity, such as talking on the phone, texting, or reading, that you will no longer participate in while seated. Do these things while standing. I love to knit and, you guessed it, I now stand and knit. It’s not bad. In fact, I’m quite enjoying this because I find I’m more alert and I make fewer mistakes.

Drink Up

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Water. We already know this, right? Then why are up to 75 percent of Americans falling short of the daily amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine: 91 ounces for women and 125 ounces for men? Could it be that we’re depending on pricey sodas, juices, vitamin water, coffee, and tea for hydration? Water is much better for us, and it’s practically free.

According to WebMD.com:

1) Water helps maintain the balance of body fluids.

2) Water helps control calorie intake.

3) Water helps energize muscles.

4) Water helps keep skin looking good.

5) Water keeps kidneys healthy and kidney stones at bay.

6) Water keeps the bowels functioning properly.

Make It Easy

First, commit to water as your beverage of choice. Then invest in a great water bottle, like the one I have from Contigo. It’s easy to use, helps me keep track of my daily intake, and it’s just the right size to not misplace. It’s made all the difference for me.

Sleep More

Sleep, we are learning, plays a huge role in good health. Sleep will curb inflammation—now being linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging—and improve your memory. Just imagine all of the money being spent these days on those particular health issues that may well be simply slept away.

Make It Easy

Instead of (or in addition to) setting the alarm to wake up, set it to remind you to go to bed. Make it non-negotiable to get at least seven hours of sleep a night.

Mary Hunt
Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” Mary invites you to visit her at her website, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at EverydayCheapskate.com/contact, “Ask Mary.” Tips can be submitted at Tips.EverydayCheapskate.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Copyright 2021 Creators.com