A recent study found that prolonged time spent sitting may contribute to earlier death. This is in part because it increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Adults who sit for 11 or more hours a day have a 40 percent increased heath risk compared with those who sit less than four hours a day. Sitting most of the day can also translate to other unhealthy behaviors, such as poor fitness and nutritional choices. The good news is you don’t have to quit your day job if you want to keep your body healthy. Below are some practical tips on how to get moving while you work.
Get a Pedometer
Buying pedometer can make a huge difference in your activity levels. You should be getting in 10,000 steps each day. Even if you don’t clock in that amount, wearing a pedometer is a good thing because it keeps you conscious of how much physical activity you’re logging during the day. Knowing your average number of steps per day can serve as motivation to move more.
Get up and move around throughout the day. Instead of emailing a co-worker, walk down the hall and talk to him or her in person. Refill your water bottle frequently, so you get moving and stay hydrated at the same time. And be sure to walk around either indoors or outdoors during your lunch break.
Sit on a Medicine Ball
Replace your typical office chair with a medicine ball. This will help to strengthen your core because you have to actively work to sit on it, meaning your muscles in your stomach and back are engaged. And because it is less comfortable than your old chair, it might motivate you to get up and walk around more often. A medicine ball can also serve as a visual cue to remind you to stay active.
Walk to Work
Many people do not have the luxury of living close to work. If you are one of the lucky people, take advantage of it. Walk or bike to work and get in some exercise before your day of sitting. If this is not an option for you, try parking farther away in the parking lot rather than right up front. If you are taking public transportation, get off a stop early. You can also take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Anything you can do to get in that extra bit of exercise helps.
Stretch at Your Desk
Stretching can provide you with all sorts of benefits. Try some stretches for your arms, legs and back at your desk regularly. Not only does stretching burn some calories, but it also makes you feel better throughout the day and therefore more likely to want to partake in real exercise later on. And let’s face it, we can use all the motivation we can get. For some stretching ideas check out our blog, Great Stretches You Can Do At Your Desk. Get off your rear-end and outlive your term life insurance policy!