Do you have an office job that forces you to sit at a desk all day? Do you find yourself at home sitting down for hours at a time?
In our culture today, it is so customary to be sitting all day. Whether it is at our computers, in our cars, or watching television, sitting consumes our daily lives. The one thing we don’t think about is how all of this sitting is affecting our bodies! Research has been done recently examining the effects that prolonged sitting has on both our bodies and our overall health. They have found that persistent sitting is linked to an increase in health risks, such as, diabetes and heart disease. It has also been shown to increase anxiety. Along with potential health issues, sitting can lead to muscle imbalances that can cause neck and back pain. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to combat these negative effects. Here are some tips to help you:
- Include 30 minutes – 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily. Try doing this before work when you have more energy. You can find a time of day that works for you! This can help decrease your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
- If you have meetings in which you sit around a conference table or have office discussions with coworkers, try to change these sedentary meetings into standing and walking meetings.
- Stand up while you take phone calls and when you are eating lunch.
- Make sure you are sitting with proper ergonomics, especially if you are working with a computer. Refer to this website to ensure your desk is set up correctly:
- Set alarms every hour to remind you to take a standing break. There are free apps and programs that will remind you to stand up during hours that you are at work. (For example, try the free app called Stand Up!)
- You can include some stretches into your standing breaks to loosen tight muscles. Check out this video that demonstrates stretches you can do right at your desk!
Even making these small changes throughout your day can make a difference in your overall health and wellness. Make your health a priority. Sit less and move more!