We’ve all heard the reports, too much sitting during the day is bad for you. It’s been called the “new smoking” for it’s detrimental effects on your health. It increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and high cholesterol to name a few. Now they’ve actually figured out how much is too much. I’m a little skeptical about blanket statements like this, knowing we’re all different, but I also err on the side of caution, and it certainly can’t hurt to move more.
So what are the experts saying? First of all, understand that the average office worker sits for about 10 hours each day, between work and home. Researchers are now saying that we should begin to stand, move and take breaks for at least two (and four is better) of every eight hours. Don’t just lump that time all together, spread it throughout your day. And as much of that time as possible should be in movement, not just standing still. The stillness is what’s killing us.
So, how in the world do you work all that in to your daily routine? Here are some ideas:
- Stand when you’re talking on the phone. Better yet, move around, pace.
- Spend less time emailing co-workers and more face-to-face time.
- Take your breaks and take them outside for a brief walk. Or just walk around your office.
- Walk during your lunch break.
- Use stairs instead of an elevator.
- Park farther away from the office and walk in.
- Set reminders on your calendar or device to tell you when to move. Or get a free phone app like one of these that reminds you.
- Hold walking meetings.
- Strive for sitting only 15 to 20 minutes of every half hour.
- Use the drinking fountain or bathroom farthest from your office.
If you office at home like me, whether it’s temporary or just the way you do business, you are presented with extra challenges. Our schedules are different, we tend to work longer hours, there are no other offices to walk to. I used to depend on my dogs to keep me moving, but they’re both senior now and only go so far. Just do what you can, set reminders, keep hand weights close by, heck you can dance around your office if you want. After all, no one is watching (except maybe your dogs).