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Sitting for long periods of time has been shown to have a range of negative effects on your health, leading to a greater risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These negative health effects of sitting down too often can even increase your risk of serious diseases like cancer and heart disease. Studies have found that even if you make the effort to get to the gym for an hour a day, it doesn’t undo the damage done from sitting for eight hours straight at your desk.
So, what’s the solution? Finding ways to move more throughout the day can help you decrease your risk of disease, improve your overall health and wellbeing and even lose weight if that’s your goal.
Get a Standing Desk
If your office has standing desks available, it’s definitely worth asking if you can take one of them. Or if you work from home, a standing desk will be a great investment for your home office.
Using a standing desk not only encourages you to move from the sitting position and stretch your body throughout the day, but it will also encourage you to move in other ways. Ideally, start out with short increments of standing while working and listen to your body, so that you can get the balance right.
Suggest Walking Meetings
If you need to chat with a colleague, a good way to turn it into an opportunity to move is to suggest a walking meeting rather than sending them an email or meeting around a table in a conference room.
Walking and talking when you’ve got something to discuss with a colleague not only helps you get out of that sitting position and move more, but it can also help with creative thinking by pumping more blood and oxygen to your brain as you walk.
Park Further Away
This is a simple tip that you can use anywhere, not just at work. Whether you’re heading into work or picking up groceries, parking at the farthest end of the parking lot allows you more time to walk into your destination.
If you use a parking garage, consider parking on a lower level so that you have to walk up to your destination and take the stairs. Those who use public transport can benefit from using a similar strategy by getting off a stop or two early and walking the rest of the way instead.
Sports Games and Simulators
If you spend a lot of time at home sitting in front of the TV, encourage yourself to move more by investing in games and simulators that allow you to get moving more right from the comfort of your living room.
Instead of sitting down to binge-watch a series on Netflix, you can have some fun playing games with a VR headset or practicing your golf moves when you get your own monitor. Dancing games on the Xbox or Nintendo Wii can be a fantastic way to get your body moving more at home and have lots of fun.
Clean-Up in Commercial Breaks
The amount of time you spend watching your favorite TV programs can add up to a lot of time spent sitting down, so incorporate some movement by getting up to do housework during commercial breaks.
You can start the laundry, sweep the floor, or get a start on washing the dishes while the ads are playing and enjoy being more productive too.
A sedentary lifestyle can have more negative effects on your health than you might realize, but the good news is that there are several simple things you can do to get your body moving more.