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Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle while at work

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Many people who spend a majority of their time sitting in front of a computer for hours may be at risk for health issues related to a sedentary lifestyle.

"One of the biggest things we're starting to realize is that the idea of screen time and physical inactivity is just as much of a risk factor as high blood pressure, diabetes and not exercising at all," said Dr. Ben walker, cardiologist at N.C. Heart and Vascular.

Dwayne Potter, an IT engineer, learned a few months ago that his job was affecting his health. Potter spent countless hours on his computer as part of his job. He discovered he had gained weight and was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

"I became very aware and concerned and wanted to change and focused really hard on changing it," said Potter.

Potter then became motivated to change his life drastically.

"I lost 30 pounds, mainly by diet and exercise. My goal was to get off the cholesterol medicine and by losing the 30 pounds I was able to get off the medicine completely," said Potter.

Potter said his exercise routine included walking and riding bikes.

"I'm more conscious about getting up and walking around," he said.

Dr. Walker was a huge motivator for Potter. He said if you have a job where you're stuck sitting at your desk, find ways to exercise at work.

"I think concepts like doing the lunge go like this, push forward and hold that static position and then hold that for awhile and then sit back up like this and then go back in the other position here and same concept,' said Walker.

Dr. Walker encourages people to hold the lunge for about 10 to 20 seconds and repeat the process 10 times. Doctors also suggest people use the stairs instead of the elevator and have walking meetings.

There are plenty of apps that can help you keep track of your calorie intake and fitness goals. Potter used that technology to keep him on track.

"I feel a lot better. A lot better. I'm able to handle the stress better and feel a lot better. Sleep better. Everything is better," Potter said.

According to Dr. Walker, the key is getting up and stretching to activate your muscles. If you don't, he said it could increase a person's need for more medications and can lead to high health costs and complications like kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Sharon Tazewell

Sharon anchors WNCN Today weekday mornings starting at 5! Her background has helped mold her into an outstanding journalist and a perfect fit for our community. Sharon's also a trained pianist and a member of NABJ. More>>

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