Public Enemy Number One: Sitting

Did you know that sitting for too long actually negatively impacts your health? Studies have linked sitting for long periods of time to obesity, metabolic syndrome, and an increase in risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Scary stuff, huh? What’s even worse is that going to the gym doesn’t seem to counteract this either. Literally the act of sitting for too long is the problem.

So, what do you do if you’re like me and you work in an office where sitting for long periods of time is required? Option 1: Quit your job and find a manual labor job (I don’t suggest this unless you’re really looking for a change of pace). Option 2: Add a few of these options into your day to help you get up out of that swivel chair and into a healthier life!

Probably the world's best desk set-up for health reasons!

Probably the world’s best desk set-up for health reasons!

Take the stairs. Whenever you get the chance, walk yourself up those cumbersome things called the steps. While I don’t expect you to hike up 70 flights (I’m on the seventh floor of my building and I don’t even do that all the time), you should try to take the stairs whenever possible (and if you’re healthy enough to do so). The more you do it, the easier it will be. I promise!

Have a question? Walk over to people’s offices/cubicles. Do you need to talk to your colleague about something? Get out of that chair, walk over to their seat, and have a face-to-face conversation.  Don’t you dare pick up that phone or send an e-mail unless you absolutely, positively can’t leave your desk to get the answer. Not only will this help you move around more, in-person connections will make you happier while at work.

Be fidgety. I’m sure your parents used to tell you to stop fidgeting all the time when you were younger. Well, I’m reversing that and saying fidget all you want (at your desk at least). Keep those feet and hands moving by tapping them or swinging your feet (yeah, I’m too short to reach the floor sometimes so I can swing them with no problem). This will keep the blood circulating through your body. Just don’t be fidgety during meetings if you can help it. That can be considered bothersome.

Stand. Maybe you want to invest in a stand up desk (if you work from home). If you don’t have that option, literally just stand up whenever you can. That action alone can help counteract the negative effects of sitting.

Stretch. While you’re standing, you might as well stretch it out. A few toe touches and arm stretches will help you feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day.

Go for walks during lunch. Do you have a lunch crew like I do? Go for walks on lunch! They don’t need to be fast or sweat inducing. Casual strolls with friends will help you relax and feel healthy while preparing you for the rest of the day.

Now it’s your turn! How do you make sure to keep yourself moving throughout the day?

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