Sitting for longer than 4 hours a day is considered a sedentary lifestyle. For many of us who work in an office or with technology, sitting for 8+ hours a day is completely normal and expected. However, this greatly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Yet just because your work requires you to sit most of the day doesn’t mean you need to be sedentary all day. There are many ways to increase your movement and boost your health.
- Take a Walk.
Aim for a daily 30-minute walk or exercise daily. Research shows that this decreases your risk of sudden cardiac death greatly. Walking is the simplest exercise you can do and is amazing for your health. Even as little as three five-minute walks throughout your day can reverse effects of prolonged sitting. Get up and take breaks from your desk every hour and go for a walk on your lunch break or after work. Every little thing counts!
- Take the Stairs.
Skip all elevators, especially at work. If you use an elevator every day, think of how many extra calories you could burn by taking the stairs instead. Stair climbing is a great exercise and is easy to do in this day and age.
- Stand Up.
Stand up from your desk at least every 20 minutes. Standing desks are gaining popularity but if your job won’t support it or you simply don’t want one, make sure to stand and stretch a few times every hour. Skip emailing colleagues and go to their desk. Take your calls standing up. Walk to the kitchen for a glass of water or coffee. Anything helps!
- Get Up During Commercial Breaks.
If you head right home from a desk job to sit on your couch and watch TV all night, you’re definitely at risk for health problems of being too stationary. If you love TV, use commercial breaks to your advantage. Do something on the commercial break. It could be a chore like folding laundry or an exercise like sit-ups, push-ups or simply running in place. If you DVR shows and skip commercials, use the time you save to work out instead of watching another episode of something you’ve already seen.
- Start jogging.
You don’t have to be a marathoner to be healthy. Any type of running or jogging shows amazing health benefits and reduced risks of death from cardiovascular disease. Start off slow by walking and running for a few minutes at a time. Even running as little as five to ten minutes per day at a slow speed shows astounding benefits for your health.
- Get a green thumb.
Gardening is actually a great hobby for those who need to be more active. Being in nature is calming and gardening requires a lot of physical activity that can prevent obesity. Another perk to gardening is you can grow your own fresh fruits and veggies, which will also help you stay healthy and trim.
- Park Farther Away.
Whether you’re parking at work, at the shopping mall or anywhere else, park farther away and walk if you can do so safely. Every step counts! Get a Fitbit or another device that tracks your steps per day just to see how much these little steps add up.
- Even Better: Walk, Bike, or Take Public Transit.
It can be tough to find time to exercise when you sit in your car to work and back, all while sitting at your desk all day too. If you live close enough to work, try walking or biking to work to get your exercise in each day.
Do you have a sedentary lifestyle? Do you work a job that requires you to sit for many hours per day? How do you counteract this? Share with us!