Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare and Carris Health care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to helps us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Take a Break From Sitting

Published in Wellness

Author: Staff

Why Sitting Too Long Can Be Bad for Your Health

Modern mankind seems to have it easy – instead of running around all day hunting for food and protecting our families from danger, many of us get to sit at a desk to earn our living. But according to a recent study, sitting for long periods of time can raise the risk of obesity and heart attack. While regular exercise is also essential, just the simple act of taking a break from sitting in a chair may help improve your health.

The Risks from Sitting All Day

Even if you exercise for 30 minutes a day, if you spend prolonged periods of time engaged in sedentary activities (sitting at a computer, watching television, driving a car, etc.), you might be raising your risk of obesity. A study published in the European Heart Journal found a correlation between the length of time people spent sitting down without a break and larger waist circumference, lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and higher triglycerides. But those who did take breaks – even as short as one minute – saw improved waist circumference and cholesterol levels.

Sitting for long periods of time can cause other health problems as well – those who work in front of a computer for hours may experience eye strain as well as wrist, neck and shoulder problems from poor ergonomics. Those at risk of blood clots, such as those with a family history, or who have recently had surgery, need to be especially careful when sitting for prolonged periods, such as long flights or car rides.

Sitting still can be dangerous business. So what can you do?

Tips to Get Moving

The participants in the study showed improved health outcomes with small, frequent breaks. Here are some tips to get out of your chair:

  • Stand up when the phone rings.
  • Take a short walk around your office building.
  • Position your trash can just out of reach so you have to get up to throw things away.
  • Grab a glass of water from the kitchen every couple of hours – you’ll get your needed break and be on your way toward eight glasses a day!
  • Do chores during TV commercial breaks.
  • If you’re taking a road trip, stop frequently to stretch your legs.
  • Schedule "movement breaks" every hour or so.
  • Stand instead of sitting when you are able to.

Stand Up for Your Health

Not much can be done to change our society. Many jobs require sitting at a desk, business transactions and social activities are increasingly conducted on the computer, and commutes aren’t getting any shorter. Although sitting for a long time may be unavoidable, it’s easy to reduce the risks by taking the time for quick walks and stretches. Discuss your lifestyle and risks for obesity, high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease with your doctor.