You eat healthy and work out, but you may be sabotaging all of your good intentions. Recent research suggests that sitting can put you at risk for certain diseases and other health problems, and it can lead to an increase in mortality rates. Yes, sitting-what you might even be doing right now-has been shown to increase a person’s chances of dying.
It’s hard to conclude just how much sitting is too much, but the message is clear. To live longer, we need to sit less.
It seems to go against everything we’ve been striving for – high-end office chairs that allow people to work comfortably for extended periods of time, technology-enhanced lounge chairs for relaxing at home and various methods to get children to stay seated in the classroom.
But this somewhat new revelation isn’t likely to become a passing fad. In fact, the office equipment industry has added a completely new segment to help combat the ill effects of sitting. The office fitness category now offers products such as treadmill desks, standing desks, and sit-to-stand desks and tables.
Many companies already give employees
incentives to adopt healthier lifestyles, and now they will likely need to incorporate ways for employees to stay productive while spending less time sitting at their desks. But these types of changes do take time.
So what do you do when your daily commute and desk job not only have you sitting for hours on end but also leave you so exhausted that you can’t wait to get home to sit down and relax?
Well, according to research, you get back up again.
How to break your sitting habit
Of course, there are certain activities that require sitting, such as driving a car. However, unless sitting is absolutely essential, we need to find creative ways to remember to stand up and move around.
Sit for 1 and move for 2
The ability to stay focused is a highly praised attribute in both students and employees. But if it’s keeping you in your seat, it could be impacting your overall health.
One way to break your sitting habit is to get up and move for at least two minutes every hour. If you work in an office, set an alarm to remind yourself. A quick walk around the office or down the hall and back should do the trick.
In a classroom setting, younger students often change activities throughout the day, but teachers could take this a step further. Have the class engage in some form of physical movement, such as marching in place or doing a few jumping jacks, toe touches or arm circles, before settling in for the next activity.
Turn off the TV
If you’re a TV watcher, make a list of all your regular shows and add up the amount of hours you spend watching per week. If you’re shocked by the number, which many are, try replacing your TV time with some sort of physical activity for a week or two. You’ll likely notice a significant increase in your energy level. If cutting out TV seems like too much of a sacrifice, cut down on the time it keeps you sitting. For example, you could stand and fold laundry, iron your clothes or pack lunches for the next day.
While it isn’t very likely you can avoid sitting altogether, just be aware of how quickly your sitting time adds up. Whether you’re working on a project, catching up on social media or watching your favorite shows, make it a point to get up and get moving. Your life depends on it.