We all know that frequently moving our bodies is part of living a healthy life. But did you know that too much sitting is tremendously detrimental to your health? Sitting has become the latest major health hazard for many Americans, as those who spend extensive time seated without breaks have a 50% greater risk of dying from any cause and a 125% greater risk of dying from a cardiovascular complication. With Netflix binge watching, stationary jobs and overall more sedentary lifestyles, sitting too much is a downright epidemic!
So you might be saying, “But, Karen, I have a DESK JOB! I have to SIT at a desk all day if I want to earn a living.” Well, yes and no. I mean, yes, I want you to continue to bring home that wonderful paycheck that sustains you, but there are many things you can do to prevent your job from taking a toll on your health.
Ways to Work More Movement Into Your Day
The more you can incorporate movement into your day and avoid sitting for long, uninterrupted periods, the healthier it is for your body. Try a few of these ideas out on your next workday:
- Try a standing desk. Many companies now offer the option for standing desks. Standing is a much healthier option than sitting all day long. You can alternate between standing and sitting – sit for an hour, stand for an hour. There are inexpensive, smaller desktop versions available online that you could consider if your employer will not make the purchase. Your body will thank you!
- Set reminders. Task Microsoft Outlook with doing more than reminding you of meetings — let it remind you to move, too! You can set hourly reminders to stand up and stretch or go for a short walk. Moving just five minutes out of each hour significantly reduces your mortality rate.
- Change your seating. It may sound crazy, but using exercise balls as seats is becoming more and more popular. Balls are slightly wobbly, causing you to keep your core engaged, improving your posture and preventing you from being completely sedentary.
- Get active during commercials. If you find yourself locked into a Netflix or TV binge once in a while, no judgement here, but make it as healthy as you can. Stand up and walk during commercials, or do some stretches or yoga poses in between episodes. Don’t sit on the couch so long that you leave a permanent imprint. Move!
- Take them standing up. Phone calls that is. Unless your job is to be on the phone all day long, consider standing when your phone rings and holding conversations outside of your chair.
- Invest in a fitness tracker. Fitness trackers worn on your wrist where you can see them tend to stay top of mind. And many now have hourly reminders built in where they buzz you, encouraging you to move at least 250 steps per hour, an amount shown to help reduce the health risks of being sedentary.
There are many ways to combat the dangers of prolonged sitting. I encourage you to pick an idea that speaks to you and take a stand for your health.
For more ideas on healthy living and becoming your best you, contact me, Karen David.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach and Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.