6 Ways to Stop ‘Sitting Disease’

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Have you heard of ‘sitting disease?’ Don’t laugh. It’s a condition that has been linked to many serious health issues and even premature death. Sit back and think about it (but not for too long). How much time do you spend each day sitting in front of your computer at work, behind the steering wheel or in front of the TV? If you’re like most Americans that number can easily add up to 12 hours a day.

Here are six simple ways to get you back on your feet each day:

  1. Take a bike or hike. If you live close enough, put on your walking shoes or ride your bike to work. If you drive, park at the farthest end of the parking lot and walk to your building’s entrance.
  2. Add steps with an app. If you carry your phone with you all day, download a pedometer app. Aim to increase your total daily steps gradually to 10,000 steps per day. Go to the restroom on a different floor, walk around when you’re on the phone or take a brisk walk during your lunch hour.
  3. Stand up and stretch. Rise up from your desk every hour and do a few repetitions of forward stretches, backward stretches, side twists, overhead reaches and leg lifts.
  4. Get face-to-face. Don’t call, email or instant message with coworkers. Whenever possible, walk to your coworkers’ offices and talk with them in-person.
  5. Arm an alarm. If you have trouble remembering to move about during your workday, make use of today’s most common office equipment, your computer. Set up your Windows Task Scheduler or the OS X clock’s ‘announce the time’ feature, to remind you to take a break and start moving.
  6. Cut back on couch time. At home, put a treadmill in front of your TV and exercise when watching your favorite program. No exercise equipment? March in place or tidy the room. Rather than play sitting-based computer games, switch to a Wii or other gaming device that includes active games that have you standing and moving.

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