New research has recently surfaced that suggests sitting for long periods of time may be as bad for you as smoking. Sitting for extended periods of time, raises the risk of disability, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, not to mention obesity. Being too sedentary and spending too much time on our behinds is a real threat to our health.
To top it off, this new research shows that even if you hit the gym or goes for a run outside every day; it may not be enough to counteract the effects of sitting too long. If you’re like the rest of the working world, you’re stuck sitting behind a desk for 8 hours a day and oftentimes find yourself relaxing at home on the couch when you get home. Here are some tips to help get you out of the sitting rut and up and standing or moving throughout the day.
Four Ways to Avoid Sitting at Work
1. Workout at your desk (or on the couch)
Whether it’s doing a few squats or lunges every hour at your desk or getting up and walking around during commercial breaks, those little exercises help. Set a goal of doing some desk pushups, standing squats and chair dips every hour just to increase the blood flow in your body. If you like to watch TV at night, try doing 5 squats, 5 pushups and 5 sit ups at every commercial break. Any form of exercise will help break the sitting habit.
2. Get up and walk around
Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator or simply take the long route to the restroom. Any little bit of extra walking throughout the day can help you focus more and release some built up energy. Try going for a walk after lunch and dinner to help your food digest instead of just sitting down directly after a large meal.
3. Sit on a stability ball
This may seem strange to some people, but sitting on a stability ball and not wobbling around actually engages your core muscles. It can also improve your posture and help decrease some risk for injuries from sitting down in a chair.
4. Take a stand
If sitting all day is a problem, try working and standing for part of the day. If you don’t have access to standing desk, just try standing for a few minutes every hour. Next time you have a phone meeting, try standing or walking around while talking or try standing while answering emails.
Use these ideas to counteract the negative effects of too much time on your behind. You should set a goal of standing up at least once an hour, if not every half hour, and moving around.
Written by: Rachel Corcoran, Weigh and Win Health Coach