There’s no question that sitting too much is bad for your body and your health. Researchers have linked a sedentary lifestyle to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Sitting for too long also causes slouching, which puts pressure on the spinal cord and can cause your body to feel stiff and sore — all factors that may just make you want to sit more.
Getting up and moving is the only way to combat the joint pain and stiffness that result from sitting. An active lifestyle can help prevent serious health conditions like heart problems, diabetes and cancer.
If you have a desk job, the answer isn’t just going to the gym after work. While exercising at the end of the day isn’t bad for you, it may not be enough to undo the effects of sitting all day. The key is to get up and move throughout the course of your day.
What can you do to combat a sedentary lifestyle? Here are a few tips:
Take a walk (or two) during the day.
Take a brisk 30-minute walk during your lunch break, or even frequent but short five-minute walks at various times throughout the day. Have a meeting scheduled with a handful of other people? Plan a walking meeting instead of sitting around the conference table. When you’ve got to make a phone call, take a walk away from your desk. Or take your dog for a walk when you get home from work. Whatever you do, just keep moving.
Take the stairs.
It may seem like a small thing, but stair climbing is actually considered vigorous physical activity. It burns more calories per minute than jogging and expends more energy than taking the elevator. Locate the stairs in your building and make them your go-to for moving between floors.
If you sit at work, make a point to stand more. Get up from your chair every 20 minutes for a quick break. Maybe that means walking to refill your water or use the restroom. Take calls standing up, and rather than emailing or calling a coworker in your building, get up and walk to their desk for a face-to-face conversation. If possible, get a standing desk so you have the option to stand and work instead of sitting.
Move during commercial breaks.
It can be nice to sit and relax on the couch after a long day at work, but don’t come home from work and stop moving. Get up from the couch during commercial breaks and do some exercise, such as jogging in place, pushups or jumping jacks.
Park the distance.
Parking further away from your destination will help increase your overall step count for the day. As an added bonus, you’ll skip any fights over the closest parking space!
Sometimes sitting down is what your body needs to rest, but remember that your body gets get plenty of inactivity while you sleep. Take these small steps to increase your activity during the day and make a point to spend more time on your feet. To schedule an appointment, contact us today.