I bet most of us could use a reminder to simply stand up for your health. As a blogger and someone who works an office job, I find I spend much of the day sitting down.
Note from Dawn: This post was originally published by me on RevealNaturalHealth.com. It has been transferred to ChoosingReal.com as I am moving content from that out-dated blog to this current blog.
This post is originally sponsored by Go Vibrant, a non-profit organization that promotes active lifestyles in cities across the U.S. I thought this topic was important to share with you (and with me!)
Stand Up For Your Health
Article written by Cheryl Lock for Discover and Play
Sitting around at a desk all day is no longer annoying only because it’s incredibly boring — it could actually be bad for your health, as well. In fact, a new study found that sedentary behavior can lead to cardiovascular problems, chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.
So where does that leave the millions of workers who head to a chair every day to do their jobs? The truth is, remembering to take some time every day to simply stand up, as silly as it sounds, is very important. (Experts recommend standing for two minutes every 20 minutes or so while you’re chained to your desk for work.)
Here are some easy ways to help decrease the amount of time you spend sitting around in a day.
1. Communication is Key
You’d probably have trouble counting the number of times you need to send an email or make a phone call during your work day, right? One easy way to sneak in a little extra standing time during the day is to use these points of communication to your advantage. Instead of sending an email to a co-worker who is a short distance away, get up and actually walk over to them to communicate your message in person.
And while it probably wouldn’t work for you to set a goal of standing up every time you send an email (because let’s be honest, most of us would be standing all day if we tried this), it might work to set a goal for yourself to stand up when you need to make an actual phone call, or when someone calls you. But however will you take notes on your computer if you’re standing and talking, you might ask?
That brings us to suggestion No. 2 …
2. Embrace the Stand-Up Desk
You might feel silly the first couple times you try it, but trust us, your back, body, mental clarity … well basically every part of your body … will thank you for standing up at your desk at certain intervals throughout the day. Of course you could spend hundreds on a specialized sit-stand desk, or you could also make use of empty boxes and storage bins already in your office to prop your laptop on throughout the day. Simple. Free. Healthy. What’s not to love about this solution?
3. Get a Better Chair
If jumping right to a stand-up desk is too much, why not try an active chair, instead? Again, there are plenty of products on the market geared towards helping you fit some flexibility into your workday sitting routine, but if you’d prefer to go simple, even sitting on an inflated exercise ball for a couple minutes every so often can make a big difference. (Size is important if you want to go this route — make sure your knees are at a right angle when you sit on the exercise ball, since sitting on one that’s too small or too large could affect your balance and safety.)
4. Walk it Out
Park farther away from your building to get more steps in on your way to the door. (Or ditch the car altogether and grab a bike, if you can!) Take the stairs if you’re only a few floors up. Walk to grab coffee mid-morning, then for lunch and then to a co-workers office for a couple minutes to catch up in the afternoon. Eat your lunch standing up. Suggest standing meetings at work (if that’s possible), or take the five minutes prior to a long meeting to walk around the block before sitting down for an extended period of time.
5. Don’t Neglect Home Time
The office isn’t the only place where people are leading sedentary lives. Watching television, playing games and even reading — while all fun activities — add to the number of hours a day we’re sitting.
If you’re going to be partaking in some sedentary activities at home as well, either use natural breaks in the rhythm of what you’re doing (a new chapter in your book, commercials during your show or someone else’s turn during a game) to stand for a couple minutes; or set an alarm in your phone to remind you to get up and move about every so often.
A few simple changes throughout your day could really make a difference for your health, so even if you can only imagine trying out one or two of these suggestions at first, every additional time you stand throughout the day will be good for you.
Do you find you need a reminder to stand up throughout the day? I know I do!