Come on, fess up.
Are you the unfortunate victim of “sitting too much”?
Is sitting at your computer all day causing you to feel fat, drained, stiff and unfit?
I must admit that I often feel that way.
I will be the first to confess that I can research and write for long hours at a time
and not even realize where the day has gone.
No wonder I feel so stiff and lethargic at times.
So many of us have jobs that require us to sit at a desk, work on a computer
or on the phone for long periods at a time.
Now, I’m not complaining…
We spend years preparing for the career of our dreams…
We’re passionate about what we do…
And we spend hours and hours each day pursuing what we love…
Journalist, programmer, analyst, web designer, social media manager, blogger…
Whatever turns you on…
But even our dream jobs can take a toll on our health and fitness.
Because too much of even a “good thing” can be a recipe for disaster.
In fact, sitting in a chair for 8 hours or more is just as bad as sitting in front of
Did you know that too much sitting:
*can increase the risk of death by 40%
*can contribute to heart disease
*can cause weight gain
*can increase the risk for diabetes–just to name a few of the unpleasant
Sure, we have to make a living–but we also have to take steps to prevent the problems
associated with sitting all day.
Getting a complete workout while sitting at your computer is almost impossible, but
there are a lot of ways to fight back, shake our bodies up a bit and still get our work done.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Take Frequent Breaks
The first step is to take breaks often.
The most benefit comes from breaks of fifteen minute or more.
2. Walk About
Get off your butt and walk around to get your blood flowing.
It is reported that people who take breaks often actually get more work done and feel
quite rested and refreshed.
3. Wake It Up
Getting energized can be as easy as doing jumping jacks or just bouncing up and down
in one spot to wake up your body and your brain.
4. Change Your View
If you work from home and you have a laptop, take it into a different room once or
twice during your work day for a different view.
A change in scenery often helps to improve your energy and your thought process.
And while you’re at it, change your seat to a good office chair or ball.
Your body will thank you for it.
5. Give Your Brain a Break
Your brain does not function at its best when you are tired– it needs refreshing just like the
rest of your body does.
Taking a break and getting your body moving will stimulate your brain and increase
6. Walk While You Work
If you have light paperwork that needs reading over, grab it and take a walk around
your office while you go over it.
Even walking in one spot while reading gets your blood circulating.
7. Lift Some Weights
Another great idea is to keep some hand weights at your desk and lift them
throughout the day.
You can even purchase leg weights that strap to your ankles to use when you are
doing your leg lifts from a seated position.
7. Work Standing Up
Whether you are straightening your desk, organizing papers, collating folders,
or talking on the phone, if at all possible– do it standing up.
8. Do Chair Exercises
Take some time in between tasks to do some chair exercises.
Roll your neck in circles and from side to side.
Hold your arms in the air and move them back and forth, reaching as high as you can.
Stretch your legs out in front of you and lift them up in the air and down again.
Lift your shoulders up and down, and roll them backward and forward.
9. Bend and Stretch
Stand up and stretch as often as possible.
Stretch your arms, legs and bend your knees.
Every little bit helps.
11. Take the Long Way
When you have to leave your desk to go to meetings, the restroom or another
location, make the most of that opportunity by taking the long way or taking the stairs,
12. Actually Go Out for Lunch
I know this may come as a surprise to some of you, but there was a time when lunch
was actually eaten in a cafeteria, restaurant or anywhere but your desk.
Unfortunately, nowadays too many of us don’t even take a lunch break.
We hastily stuff some food down our throats often while still working.
Taking a long walk at lunch and getting some fresh air is one of the best ways to
get energized and revitalized.
If you have enough time, slip on your sneakers and add some pep to your step.
Your body and your mind will thank you for it, too.
Make Movement a Habit
Sure, you have to work, and sitting at your computer for 8 hours a day or more a day
can cause problems…
But you can fight back and fit in fitness by making it a habit to take breaks, stand, walk,
shake, bend, bounce, stretch and do chair exercises while sitting at your desk.
The Truth About Sitting Down
Want to learn more about the dangers associated with sitting too much?
The infographic below illustrates why “the human body simply wasn’t built to sit for long periods