You may have heard about new research that says that sitting can be just as bad for you as smoking. And that’s even if you do regular exercise. That’s right. Even if you’re hitting the gym hard just after work every single day, sitting for more than 6 hours a day can still lead to an early death.1
How Prolonged Sitting Can Harms Us
- Increases hypertension2
- Causes musculoskeletal diseases3
- Increases exhaustion4
- Increases risk of cardiovascular diseases5
- Increases risk of diabetes and cancer6
Unfortunately, most of us just don’t have an option since our jobs require us to be hunched over a laptop in one place for most of the day. But, there are some ways to work around it. Here’s how you can keep yourself moving.
1. Drink Lots Of Water
Not only will this keep you hydrated but it will force you to take frequent trips to refill your water bottle and go to the bathroom. This will add at least 2–3 minutes of walking depending on where your seat is.
2. Walk And Talk
If you need to have a meeting one on one with someone, consider taking a walking meeting. If you need to take notes, use a voice recorder on your phone. This will definitely help you get at least 10 more minutes of walking into your routine.
3. Call, Don’t Text
If you need to text someone, whether it’s home or for work purposes, take a call instead and get up and walk as you talk. Pacing when you take a phone call adds at least another minute of activity.
4. Park Further Away
Stop trying to look for that perfect parking spot that’s up close. Instead, park further away and get those extra 2 minutes of walking.
5. Include Stretches When Brushing Your Teeth
It’s not a bad idea to do some calf stretches as your brush your teeth. You could even do some squats. The more activity you can include in your day, the better.
6. Walk Over To A Colleague’s Desk
If you need to give your colleague a gentle reminder about a deadline or report, don’t send out an email, walk over to their desk to say it in person.
7. Consider A Standing Desk
Many people are considering the switch to a standing desk arrangement. Sitting down slows down your metabolism but standing forces your muscles to work against gravity to keep you upright. Even this small amount of effort makes a difference.
8. Take The Stairs
Whether it’s your office or apartment building, the stairs provide a great, quick workout session. Even better if you do decide to step out of your workplace during the day since you’ll add more steps each time.
9. Wear Comfortable Shoes
The occasional high heels are great but if you’re wearing uncomfortable shoes, the less you’ll want to be on your feet. Try and find comfortable shoes that will encourage you to get up and stay on your feet.
10. Set Alarms
Set an alarm on your phone every half hour to remind yourself to get moving. Get out of your chair and do some light stretches to get your blood flowing. If you feel conscious doing this at your workspace, step out for a few minutes or just take a trip up and down the stairs.
Now that you know the risks, don’t just sit there! Use these tips to keep you moving throughout your day.
|↑1, ↑5, ↑6||Diaz, Keith M., Virginia J. Howard, Brent Hutto, Natalie Colabianchi, John E. Vena, Monika M. Safford, Steven N. Blair, and Steven P. Hooker. “Patterns of sedentary behavior and mortality in US Middle-aged and older adults: a national cohort study.” Annals of Internal Medicine 167, no. 7 (2017): 465-475.|
|↑2, ↑3, ↑4||Daneshmandi, Hadi, Alireza Choobineh, Haleh Ghaem, and Mehran Karimi. “Adverse Effects of Prolonged Sitting Behavior on the General Health of Office Workers.” Journal of lifestyle medicine 7, no. 2 (2017): 69.|