Decrease your time sitting to improve your health

Decrease your time sitting to improve your health

It will take some getting used to, but committing to sitting less — ideally less than three hours a day — is more of a mindset than a physical feat.

It will take some getting used to, but committing to sitting less — ideally less than three hours a day — is more of a mindset than a physical feat.

by Joanne Henning Tedesco — 

If you work in an office and spend most of your day in front of a computer, you might spend less time sitting by using a standing workstation. A study published in the journal Preventive Medicine analyzed 23 active desk studies and found they reduced sedentary time and improved mood.

It will take some getting used to, but committing to sitting less — ideally less than three hours a day — is more of a mindset than a physical feat. In a short time, standing and moving around feels every bit as natural as sitting.

You should also strive to stand or move around while you watch TV, talk on the phone and at any other time possible. In addition, moving is important, not just standing still. Setting a goal of 7,000 to 10,000 steps a day (which is just over three to five miles) can go a long way toward getting more movement and less sitting into your life.

This will be easier if you buy a pedometer or a wearable fitness tracker to let you know how many steps you take each day. These devices will help you see how simple and seemingly minor changes to the way you move at work and home can add up.

Other simple ways to increase your physical movement and avoid sitting down at work and elsewhere include the following things.

  • Organize your office so you have to move or stand to reach files, the telephone or your printer. It will be healthier than having everything within easy reach.
  • Use an exercise ball for a chair. This will engage your core muscles and help improve balance and flexibility.
  • Keep a timer close by to remind you to move around for at least two to 10 minutes each hour.
  • Walk, stand, dance or do a few simple exercises by your desk or the sofa.
  • Just move.

 

Joanne Henning Tedesco is editor of AzNetNews.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 35, Number 1, February/March 2016.

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