The American Medical Association reminds people that sitting is bad for a person’s personal health and some scholars refer to the epidemic as “sitting disease.” The longer you sit, the more likely you are to suffer negative health consequences. On average, some people sit anywhere from 7.7 to 15 hours a day. We are sitting the same amount of time, if not more than, the time we spend sleeping. Good news: some studies suggest that an hour of physical activity a day can make up for an entire day of sitting. Get up and get moving, and the following ways will help you stay fit when all you do is sit.
- Treadmill desk
The obvious answer is a treadmill desk. Instead of sitting while you work, the treadmill desks keeps you moving while remaining productive. A new study shows that a treadmill desk actually boosts productivity, in addition to be a great part of an overall long-term health plan.
- Gym or stairs at lunchtime
If your office space as stairs, use them. Park far away and take the stairs so that you can sneak in a few more steps each day. If you are chronically late in the mornings, park a little closer and power up the stairs. Your heart will thank you. At lunchtime, do not take your lunch in front of the desk or in the break room, get moving. Go up and down the stairs during lunchtime. If you have time, get out and walk or take a trip to the gym. Some companies offer gyms, and if yours does not, try to find a location that is close by.
- Squat a little more
Squeeze in a 10-minute squat every chance you get. When you take breaks throughout the day or head to the bathroom, take some time to perform a few squats. You can break up your squats throughout the day: in the shower, prior to putting your shoes on, when getting ready in the bathroom, on your lunch break, with your small kids when you tuck them in at night or right before you go to bed.
- Dance it off
Stream your favorite playlist and get moving. When you are getting ready for work or kicking off your shoes at night, turn up the tunes and get shaking. Dancing gets your heart rate up and works different muscle groups. Spend 10 to 15 minutes dancing in the morning, when you are cooking, watching TV, or right when you get in the door after work.
- Use your chair for more than sitting
The reality is that some people are just not in a position to get up and workout when they are in front of a desk at work, but you can bring the gym to your chair. You can perform the following exercises in your office chair:
- Lift and straighten one leg at a time, holding the leg about three inches off the ground for 10 seconds on each side. Do this two to three times a day.
- Put your feet flat on the ground and tighten your glutes for 10 seconds. You can do this 5 times a day, at home, in the car, and at the office.
- Do 10 to 15 pushes at your desk; this only really works with a wheeled chair. Lean forward, placing your hands on the edge of the desk, and push yourself away from the desk. Once your arms are straight, pull yourself back in.
- Rest your forearms on the desk, as you do when you are typing, and lift your feet off the ground. You can do mock bicycle pedals underneath your desk. Do this for 5 minutes, 5 times a day.