Hello Workwell

Why Taking Care of Your Body at Work Will Help You Live Longer

BodyHello Workwell
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“According to a recent study out of UCLA, certain tissues and organs do age at different rates than others. Healthy breast tissue, for example, was found to be about two or three years older than the rest of a woman’s body, while heart tissue appeared to be, on average, about nine years younger than everything else. Although the exact cause for these variations is still unknown (essentially, it’s in our DNA), there are research-proven ways to help keep your body as young, vibrant and healthy as possible.” - Lindsey Emery, Science & Health, Further/More

We love what Further/More has to say about the science for living your best life. So, when we came across an article about how your body ages at different speeds, we had to investigate. Knowing how your body ages in certain conditions can help you build your work day to support longevity. For example, researchers have proven (time and again) that exercise can extend your life, reduce your risk of disease, and increase your cognitive ability. So, if you don’t have time to go to the gym at lunch, by briskly walking your 10-minute commute from work to home and back, you’ve added 20 minutes of exercise to your day. That 20 minutes adds up to 100 minutes per week, 400 per month and 5,200 minutes per year — that’s almost 87 hours of exercise per year that you’re not getting right now!

“Every cell, or chromosome, in your body is capped with a telomere, or a stretch of DNA that makes it possible for cells to divide. Each time a cell divides, telomeres get shorter, and over time, when they get too short, they die. Therefore, researchers often use the length of telomeres to assess biological aging. One German study compared the length of middle-aged long-distance runners’ telomeres with those of sedentary people the same age, and the results revealed that the runners’ telomere loss was reduced by about 75 percent, meaning that their actual cells were significantly younger than their inactive peers. Long live marathoners—quite literally.” - Lindsey Emery, Science & Health, Further/More

start with 10 minutes a day

What generally stops people from changing how they take care of their bodies at work are over-reaching goals. Sure, you could join a gym and say that you’re going to work out every day after work starting Monday, but we guarantee that in three weeks, you’ll be heading out for drinks, heading home, or working late. Try adding small, incremental improvements over the course of your work day: walk to work, eat salad and a lean protein 2 days a week, listen to a 5 minute meditation in the morning on your way to work.

“According to the American College of Sports Medicine, starting at around age 40, our muscle performance deteriorates at a rate of about 5 percent per decade, with the process speeding up after age 65 to 70. But research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that you could potentially slow (or reduce) that muscle loss by following a consistent cardio and strength program, even if you don’t start until later in life.” - Lindsey Emery, Science & Health, Further/More

Whatever you decide to do to keep that work body in the best of health, just do it. And if you stray a little, give yourself permission to start again. Your life depends on it.

“We’re dealt a certain genetic hand, but what we do over the course of our lives can modify that.” - Thomas Storer, Ph.D., Director, Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Equinox Advisory Board Member