There’s no way around it: sitting all day is bad for you.
We all know it. We all do it. And sometimes, we don’t just do it at the office, we get in a car and sit some more and then we get home and sit even more! This kind sedentary lifestyle has been linked to some pretty nasty health issues including heart disease, obesity, cancer… Need I say more? Tie sitting for 8 hours a day or more with unhealthy snacking and you’ve got a great recipe for diabetes. Obviously there are a ton of other variables that go into how healthy you are, like your diet and genetics, but when something as easy to counteract like sitting all day is affecting your quality and length of life shouldn’t you take action now? The answer is YES YOU SHOULD.
The good news is that sitting too much is a problem that’s easy to remedy. Let’s look at some easy solutions to our sitting problem.
Solution 1: Take Breaks
Sometimes it’s hard to stop working. You get that momentum going, you ‘get in the zone’, you’re being productive and that’s good. But often when you have this great work mojo going you knowingly (or unknowingly) start to ignore your body by skipping your breaks. If you keep snacks at your desk like I do, you know how easy it is to hole up for hours just hacking away at your work day. But do yourself a favor and take a break! Make a point to stand up and walk away from your desk at least once every 60 minutes. Set your phone alarm to go off once an hour and you’ll know when it’s time to get up. Even if it’s just for five minutes, that’s enough time to give your muscles a stretch, get your blood flowing and give your brain a break too.
Solution 2: Use the breaks you take wisely
So you happen to be one of the proud few who do take your breaks. Congratulations! But are you using that time wisely? Make the most of your breaks by doing some quick exercises like standing calf raises, lunging to the break room for a snack or going up and down a flight of stairs or two. Take a walk on your lunch break to get some fresh air and get your blood pumping. As long as you get up and away from your desk, you’ll be doing your body good. Of course, there are workouts like this one you can do if you’d rather not leave your desk too.
Solution 3: Revamp your work space
A standing desk/workstation can do wonders for your health. Standing can increase your productivity, keeps your blood flowing through your body correctly and you’ll burn more calories while you work. They’re easy to make if you don’t want to buy a brand new one and more employers are noticing the benefit of standing workstations, so you may be able to get your boss to foot the bill. It needs to be noted here that standing in once place all day isn’t great for you either. If you go with a standing desk you should invest in a stool that you can sit in for small breaks and a padded mat to stand on will make you more comfortable while you work. And of course, use your breaks wisely like we talked about above.
Once you start making the effort to get up or away from your desk a regular part of your day you’ll be surprised how quickly your body starts to respond to the movement, even craving it! And once it becomes habit, you’ll feel better knowing you’re doing something so simple to make a positive impact on your health. So what are you waiting for? Get going!