The perils of prolonged sitting have been widely documented. A sedentary lifestyle significantly increases the chances of developing cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If these facts are enough to motivate you to take action, then try incorporating these standing tips into your daily routine:
- Don’t skip the commercials. The magic of DVR has made commercial watching a thing of the past, but resist pushing that fast forward button. When a commercial comes on, use that time to climb off the couch and walk around the room or stretch.
- Use a standing timer. If you work an office job, set an alarm or reoccurring reminder to go off every hour. When it goes off, take just a few minutes to stand or walk in place. Interested in a more high tech route? There are plenty of activity trackers that will remind you to move when they sense you’ve been still too long.
- Drink water. Keep a cup of water by you all day and be sure to refill it when it’s empty. Getting up to go to the water cooler will get you up and moving, and the water will keep you hydrated and healthy.
There are days when taking a standing break every hour just isn’t doable. During those times or when you want to burn some extra calories throughout the day, use your time at your desk as productively as possible:
- Fidget! Recent studies suggest that fidgeting habits may be as effective as taking standing breaks. Bounce your knees, tap your toes, click your pens and wiggle in your chair to help keep your body healthy.
- Do discreet desk-ercises. Get in a mini workout at work with several subtle exercises. Take turns alternating legs and hold them straight out under your desk. Grab a stapler and do a few bicep curls. Check your posture frequently by sitting with your spine straight, shoulders back and feet flat on the ground in front of you.
- Make your breaks count. When lunch time rolls around, don’t spend it in front of the computer. Pack a healthy lunch and eat it in the break room or at a table outside. When you’re finished eating, use the rest of your time to walk a few laps around the building. It will help clear your head and give you fresh eyes to tackle the next project.
While it may not be as intense as a cardio workout, taking these small steps throughout the day can help improve your overall health. Being mindful of how long you spend your day in a chair and take a stand for your health!
Heart of Florida United Way believes health and wellness is foundation to living a quality life. Access to preventative medical care reduces school absenteeism, job loss and poverty. By providing resources and programs that support children and families, we improve the community as a whole. To learn more about our work in improving the health of the community, visit our website.