We sit. We all sit. A lot. And it’s bad for us.
We know it is bad for us, but we don’t know what to do about it.
Here are a few simple ways to add more movement and less sitting into your day:
- Quick bursts of exercise. Take 5 minutes (or more if you have the time) to do some exercises in the morning, afternoon and evening. Jumping Jacks, Marching in Place, Squats, Side to Side Steps, or dancing are all great ways to get your heart pumping – and you can do it anywhere, anytime!
- Never sit while talking on the phone. Unless you are in the car, get up and move around while talking on the phone. If you are at work and bound to your desk by your phone cord, you can at least stand up while you are on the phone.
- Take the stairs. Always skip the elevator or escalator and take the stairs. There are always stairs around – sometimes you have to look for them, but they are there! If you work on a very high floor, take the elevator to 3-4 floors below or above you and take the stairs from there.
- Making walking lunch dates. Grab your friend and walk instead of sitting during your lunch break. If it’s raining and you have a nearby mall, walk there. If you have stairs, walk up and down them for 10 minutes. Just spend 10-20 minutes of your lunch break moving instead of sitting. You will feel much better, trust me!
- Stand up and move whenever you are waiting on something. We spend a lot of our time waiting. Whether it’s waiting for the microwave to cook our oatmeal in the morning, waiting for the computer to load a software program, or waiting for a meeting to begin, we sit when we wait. Instead of sitting, stand up, stretch, move around your desk area, or even walk down the hall and come back to your desk. Instead of sitting and waiting, move!
- Set an alarm to go off once every hour. When it goes off, get up, do a lap around the house or office and do some light stretching before sitting back down. Try to get 5 minutes of movement in before heading back to your task.
- Walk instead of drive. If you are going to a store or restaurant within walking distance, don’t jump in your car and drive. Walk there!
- Fidget! We teach kids not to fidget because we find it annoying, but it actually is really good for us! When sitting at your desk, kick your legs back and forth. And every now and then really focus on using your muscles. Wiggle around in your seat. Do glute squeezes and ab squeezes. Reach your arms over head and stretch. Do a little dance in your chair when you hear a good song come on the radio. You can move without having to get up, so do it!
- Use the break room and bathroom on a different floor. If you work in a multi-level building, during your breaks walk up or down a few floors and use their facilities. If you can not do this, take a lap around the office (either indoors or out) before taking your break. You can do this at home too – take the long way to the kitchen or use the bathroom farthest away from you.
- Find movement in mundane tasks. Brushing your teeth? Walk around your bedroom. Drying your hair? Do some squats. Dusting the house? Put on some music and make it a dance cleaning party. We all do mindless and sedentary things every day. When you find yourself just sitting down doing a mindless task, think of a way to add more movement to it. Not only will it improve your health, but make the task a lot more fun!