If you do then the bottom line is you need to get moving!
It is all too easy to sit at a desk, engrossed in completing a piece of work. Time flies by and before you know it several hours can have passed.
Get up every 30 minutes and move around, whether it be a short walk or a few exercises.
Everyone nowadays seems to own a fitness tracker or similar device. Many of these have an alarm function that will alert you to the fact that you have not completed the required number of steps in a set time period. Also, many computer systems can be set with an alarm to remind you to get moving.
The importance of standing more and sitting less can’t be more highly stressed: Studies indicate that moving for a least 10 minutes in every hour of sitting may help reduce some of the sitting’s negative effects.1 The more movement the better.
Ideally, you should be sitting for no more than three hours each day. If you consider the time you sit eating your meals each day and also relaxing, watching a television program in the evening you really can’t afford to sit for long at work. Standing still for long periods can also be very hard on the body. Especially when you aren’t used to it. Changing your position and moving around is the key to being comfortable all day.
Six ideas that may help you reduce your time sitting
- When you do sit, it’s important to sit with the correct posture. This will help reduce problems with lower back pain, wrist strain and other physical challenges associated with poor posture. However, while correct sitting posture is important, it does not change the fact that you need to get moving.2,3
- Raise your computer up so you can spend some time standing while working. You could ask your employer to consider supplying sit-stand desks in your office.
- When you’re standing, step or march in place.
- Try doing a few minutes of exercise. These could include a combination of posture-improving exercises, stretches, marching on the spot, a lap of walking around the office, etc. Taking this time out may make you more productive when you resume your work.
- Try including short walks into your day. These could include parking further from work, using the stairs, not the lift and going out during your lunch break and tea breaks for a short walk.
- Swap out your chair for an exercise ball for part of the day. Sitting this way requires you to engage your core muscles and helps improve balance and flexibility.
If you do find yourself in a prolonged sitting situation — fidget! It appears to help offset the mortality risk that comes with excessive sitting.4
1. Owen N, Bauman A, and Brown W. Too much sitting: a novel and important predictor of chronic disease risk? Br J Sports Med. Feb 2009, Vol. 43, 81-83
2. Marras WS, Lavender SA, Leurgans SE et al (1995) Biomechanical risk factors for occupationally related low back disorders. Ergonomics 38(2):377–410.
3. Kado, DM et al (2004) Hyperkyphotic posture predicts mortality in older community-dwelling men and women: a prospective study. J of Amer Geristrics Society. Vol 52(10):1662-1667
4. Gareth Hagger-Johnson, Victoria Burley, Darren Greenwood, Janet E. Cade. Sitting Time, Fidgeting, and All-Cause Mortality in the UK Women’s Cohort Study. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.06.025