Go Ahead, Jump!

Many of us, folks, spend far more time sitting than anything else. It’s not surprising–when a lot of our work involves a computer, it’s tough to avoid it!

The National Human Activity Pattern Survey, which was commissioned by the US Environmental Protection Agency, actually found that the majority of people in the U.S. spent around 93 percent of their time in the car or indoors (eta-publications.lbl.gov/sites/default/files/lbnl-47713.pdf). Many other global studies have found that people spend around eight hours sitting each day on average, with some people sitting as much as 15 hours per day.

A newer survey by standing desk retailer Egotron found that while people in the U.S. sat around 13 hours each day, 70 percent did not like sitting all day and used excuses such as getting food to get up and move around at work (https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-survey-to-sit-or-stand-almost-70-of-full-time-american-workers-hate-sitting-but-they-do-it-all-day-every-day-215804771.html).

Prolonged sitting has a lot of negative effects on the body, including a higher risk of premature death, but there is a surprising way you can help shake off the effects of sitting for hours, and that’s jumping. One study done by by the the American Council of Exercise and reported on by Time Magazine found that jumping on a rebounder or mini trampoline for under 20 minutes was just as good as running, with less stress on the joints (https://time.com/4504548/jumping-trampoline-exercise-workout/).

Fortunately, you don’t need a piece of equipment in your office to enjoy these benefits. Simply get up, stand at your desk and jump in place several times every 20 minutes or so at work can boost your heart rate and benefit your bones. A study in the American Journal of Health Promotion medical journal found that jumping in place 20 times each day may decrease your risk of osteoporosis (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24460005/). In that study, participants showed real change in their bone mineral density after just eight weeks of jumping.

Of course, if you decide to add jumping to your workout routine at home, be sure to take precautions. Follow all the directions for the jumping equipment you are using. Jump slowly and easily at first to make sure you have a feel for and balance on the equipment you’ve selected. Never use jumping equipment after drinking, taking medicine that can impact your balance or if the jumping surface is wet because you could fall off and hurt yourself. Just take it easy and build yourself up–and, of course, don’t forget to have some fun!