Even with a solid gym session under my belt, I still feel like a lazy pile when work keeps me sitting…a feeling most people can relate to. I recently read that sitting for more than 6 hours a day can increase your risk of dying (of any disease) by 40%. If that doesn’t get you going, check out this article that talks about the risks of a sedentary lifestyle:
Being that a majority of people have sedentary jobs or jobs that keep them behind a desk all day, I decided to start paying attention to my own ways of keeping my blood pumpin’ and create a list of simple yet effective ways to keep you feeling good throughout the day…
Nine Ways to Move More Everyday
1. You may have just gotten up and yes, it may be 5 degrees outside…but park farther away than you usually do. The circles you’re making in the parking lot waiting for rockstar parking aren’t saving you time anyway.
2. Stay hydrated. Keeping yourself properly hydrated does wonders for your health, and it is just as important in cold weather as it is in warm weather. It also will help segway you into your next activity…
3. Bathroom trips! Choose a bathroom that requires a little walk. Granted, there’s no need to hike to the next building, but take the opportunity to stretch your legs and maybe visit a few co- workers along the way. Once you make it there, choose the farthest stall. As ridiculous as it sounds, if you get into the habit of choosing the last stall over the first, the steps will start to add up!
4. Stand up. Standing will not only burn you more calories than sitting, but it will also help improve your posture and reduce stiffness in your body throughout the day. More and more companies are adopting stand-friendly work environments but if yours hasn’t, give them a nudge.
5. Ahh, you made it to lunch. Ok, so maybe you have a job where you’re already on your feet all day and you cherish your 30 minutes over the noon hour to sit down and relax…but for the rest of us – get out of the office! It’s refreshing to leave the atmosphere of your work space and can also provide a great opportunity to get moving. Take a 30 minute walk or shop a nearby store.
6. Stop taking the elevator! If you work on the 2 nd or 3 rd floor I encourage you to permanently forego the elevator. On a higher floor? Challenge yourself once a day. Once you get into this habit, it will be hard to break.
7. Walk and talk. We all know the image…talking on the phone, feet kicked up, finger twirling around the receiver cord. Think about how long your phone conversations typically last and how you probably can be caught complaining about how you don’t have enough time in the day to be active. Let’s kill two birds with one stone here, take your neck phone call or meeting standing up or even head outside.
8. Take a field trip. Instead of calling, emailing, or texting the person you’re trying to reach…walk yourself over and get some face-time. Hand-delivering messages goes beyond getting your legs moving – it’s also a great way to stay personable with the people around you. Send your next report to a further printer and mingle along the way.
9. Replace your chair with a large stability ball. Help increase your posture and get those stabilizers working, your core will thank you later!
Is Sitting the New Smoking?
Some of you will be reading and thinking “pshhhh, I get such a good workout in before/after work…I don’t need to worry about anything.” But it doesn’t matter. Just because you got activity in during another part of your day doesn’t reduce the risk of being sedentary for long periods of time. This is one reason why I love products like the Nike FuelBand, Fitbit, or Apple iWatch. They track your activity throughout the day, allow you to set a goal, and even remind you to stand up and get moving. How spoiled are we in this day and age? (NOT SPONSORED!!)
I challenge you to take up a few of these items if you haven’t already and if you already have – challenge the person next to you to join. I’ll never forget when I ordered a stability ball for my desk and the next thing I knew, 10 other people did the same.
Feeling great is CONTAGIOUS!