My last post was about the detrimental effects of sitting on our health. If you missed it, click HERE. In it I spoke of physical and physiological effects on our bodies. Hopefully that has spurred your interest in how to solve the issue. After all, our culture, as I stated, is now designed around sitting. We sit at work and we sit at home. Oh and in between, we sit while we drive from home to work and back again.
So what do we do???
Start by finding ways to not sit any longer than 30 minutes at a time. Some of the fitness bands, like the UP band by Jawbone, have a setting that allows it to vibrate on your wrist after “x” amount of time being sedentary. That would help. There are software programs that you can download to your computer if you find that your screen time is what keeps you sitting for too long. One is workrave and another is Breaker. Those are windows based options. For those that like Macs, another software is found here called Timeout. I don’t use either as my job has me up and down all day, never sitting for more than 10-15 minutes.
You can also set an alarm on your phone that repeats every 30 – 60 minutes. Use that time to go get some water. Or you can save up any physical paperwork you have that needs to be filed away or brought to someone and do it on your breaks.. You can even just decide that you will stand up and do 25 jumping jacks or squats during that break. Look up stretches for the neck, upper back, hamstrings and hip flexors to do on your breaks. All of those muscles need attention if you’re a regular sitter. Just be sure you’re getting out of your chair to do them.
How about if you get stuck watching sports shows or other TV? Use those commercials appropriately. You know you complain about them anyway. So, when they come on, get up and go do something. Work in the kitchen. Walk outside and breathe in some fresher air. Throw the ball to your dog a few times in the backyard. Do some of the exercises we spoke about. Do a plank for 30 seconds to a minute (or however long you can). Drink some water. If you drink water regularly, you’ll have other reasons to get up and go (pun intended).
Really, it’s very simple. Just becoming aware of your sitting habits is the starting point. More than likely, you have the habit of sitting too much, whether at home or at work or in the car. Evaluate your days, and choose an appropriate response.
Until next time…. Be Well!