The American Heart Association says our jobs are 83 percent more sedentary than in the 1950s. That’s not good.
Sitting too long (like all day at work) puts you at risk for serious illnesses, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Sitting also increases your chances of dying from one of these illnesses.
All because you work! Imagine that. The good news is doing the following activities may prevent these illnesses and/or the damage they cause.
Move at least an hour a day
The experts at the University of Cambridge found that moving at a moderate pace at least an hour a day combats the damages caused by sitting all day. Moderate exercise improves your mood, helps with weight loss, increases blood flow, and improves sleep habits.
Moderate activity requires you to physically exercise – whether you head to the gym, run on the treadmill, ride a bike, do yoga, run around the block, or take an aerobics class.
You can also incorporate movement throughout your day. Set your timer and get up and walk every 30 minutes. Walk on your lunch hour. Park in the furthest parking spot in the lot, and take the stairs rather than the elevator.
Track your steps
Use a step tracker, whether on your wrist or your phone, to track your steps. You’ll know when you’re not walking enough.
Step trackers remind you to get up and move. Listen to the reminders.
Stretch your body
Don’t let your body get stiff and tired. Throughout the day, stand and stretch. If you can’t stand, at least stretch your back, hips, and neck. Take 30 seconds to focus on yourself.
It will not only help you get healthier but will improve your focus too.
Alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day
A standing desk may seem to combat the risks sitting all day cause, but standing all day is hard too.
Alternate between the two if you can. Whether you have a standing desk or you just stand periodically to work when it’s feasible, you limit the damage caused by sitting for too long.
Go Talk to Your Colleagues
If you’re working in the office, don’t resort to instant messaging. Get up and walk over to your colleagues, keeping your distance, of course. If you have a question for the boss, walk over to him.
When you have errands to run or items to grab from somewhere else in the building, get them yourself. Give yourself a break and the chance to move.
Take a Lunch Break
Do you work through lunch? Don’t. Do you sit for lunch? Don’t. If you can, stand and eat. Move your body, and give it time to stretch. If you have the time, walk on your lunch.
Even if it’s up and down the stairs or around the building – you probably have a good 30 minutes to move your body – use it.
It takes just 45 minutes to an hour a day of cumulative movement to combat the damages sitting all day does. Not only will you help your body, but you’ll improve your focus and mood.
Don’t stress about it – just fit in some movement here and there throughout your day. Keep track, and chances are you’ll hit 45 minutes to an hour long before you thought possible.