On average, how many hours a day do you spend sitting down at a desk, in a car, or on the couch? How many of those sitting hours could you have spent standing up? According to the American Heart Association, the average American sits for a total of six to eight hours each day. This is dangerous because studies have shown links between sitting for long periods of time and an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. After hearing this, standing up at work seems more important than initially thought. Here are a few easy ways you can do to stay moving throughout the work day:
- Sit on something wobbly, such as a medicine ball. That will force your core muscles to be engaged even while sitting down. This will also take pressure off your back!
- Set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to stand up and walk around or stretch every 35 minutes or so. The more your blood is pumping the better your brain can think.
- Track your steps. An easy way to get more steps is by walking to a co-worker’s desk to ask a question instead of calling or sending an email.
- Try a standing desk if possible! While you may think this type of change is not allowed in your workplace, it can’t hurt to ask.
- Walk around during your lunch break. Go for an easy walk during on break instead of sitting. If it’s hard for you to walk and eat, squeeze in a quick 5 min walk after eating. This not only is great for blood flow and posture, but it’s also great for digestion.
While all those suggestions are effective and great, sometimes you are required to sit for hours for a meeting or conference call, ext. If that is the case, here are a few tips to promote good posture and avoid some of the negative effects of sitting:
- Sit up straight; think about rolling your lower back forward.
- Relax your shoulders; image you are sitting with your back flat against a wall.
- Keep your arms close to your sides. This makes it harder to slouch.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor. This also makes it more uncomfortable to slouch.