Odds are that if you are reading this, you are sitting.
For a variety of reasons, Americans are sitting more and more. Even those who have a regular workout routine still spend the majority of their day sedentary. Sitting in and of itself isn’t that dangerous, unless you are precariously perched on an exercise ball. However, not moving for an extended period of time can not only make your body and mind not feel good, the lack of movement also can increase your risk for certain health problems including heart disease, obesity, and certain cancers. Some research even goes so far as to say that the hours spent sitting can equal hours off of your life.
In previous posts we’ve discussed if sitting is the new smoking and reviewed active workstations in use on campus. But regardless of if you work sitting or standing, how can you work more movement into your workday? Keep reading to find out.
Every little bit counts
Moving more throughout the day does not have to involve anything extreme or drastic. The goal is little bursts of movement every hour or so. This can be as simple as training yourself to walk to a colleague’s office to ask a question rather than sending an email or walking a lap around your building. Additional tips to get you moving in your office include moving a resource you use frequently or your phone across your office and using a smaller water bottle so that you have to get up more frequently to refill it.
Take the stairs
Instead of waiting for the elevator, challenge yourself to let your feet do the work. Ways to increase your stair usage include using a restroom or water fountain on another floor. An added bonus is the energy you will save, which is good for the planet!
Add walking to your lunch menu
A 15-minute walk at lunch is not only good for your body, it is also good for your mind. A quick walk increases your productivity and your ability to focus as well as just makes you feel good. Check out this awesome visual for what a quick 20-minute walk does for your brain. Do you need an added incentive? Walk with us on Wednesdays this summer!
On days that have you tied to your desk for long periods of time, set reminders on your calendar or phone to get up and move—and don’t ignore them! While work is important, your well-being is vital. Besides, a quick five-minute break will allow you to focus better on the task at hand.
Schedule an ergonomic evaluation
Make sure your work space supports your overall health and your wellness goals so that your body feels well enough to move. Small adjustments to your existing work space can make a world of difference. Contact Health Promotion and Wellness for an ergonomic evaluation. Guidelines for seated computer stations as well as laptop use are also available.
Participate in Lifestyle Enhancement classes
Lifestyle enhancement classes are designed to help improve back health while providing a convenient, affordable, and enjoyable physical activity option. Summer classes include noon yoga, which takes place at noon Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Balanced Bellies and Back, which takes place on Tuesdays over the lunch hour.
Park farther away
While it is always satisfying to get a good parking spot on campus, challenge yourself to park farther away so that you log more steps. On nice days, consider walking to and from campus meetings or hold a walking meeting with your colleague.
Make your downtime work for you
All of this doesn’t mean you have to give up your Netflix and chill time. Instead, use that time to move. Spend your commercial break walking around your living room. Here are seven more exercises you can do while barely leaving the couch.