Friday, May 1, 2015

Sit Less, Move More

Sitting too much is a big problem in our society.  We're busy, for sure, but we do a lot of busy work sitting down.  Here are examples of when we sit the most, and possible alternatives.  

Talking on the Phone:  Whether at work, at home, or in the car, we're often sedentary while talking on the phone, although I've also seen many people walking through airports, down sidewalks, and through malls with a phone glued to their ear.  That's a whole different topic in and of itself.  I'll save that for another blog post.  For now, let's concentrate on a alternatives to sitting and talking on the phone.  At work, you could pace back and forth in your office, deliver a report in person to a coworker, or stand and do stretches.  At home, try walking around your house, doing squats, or taking a walk outside.  In the car, well, you could pull over to take or make a call and get out for a good stretch.  If you can't get out of the car, put the cruise control on and wiggle your toes and  "march" in place to help increase the circulation during long commutes on the highway.  

Waiting in the Doctor's Office:  Instead of sitting there reading four-year-old magazines or reading your latest Kindle selection, stand up and walk in place for a bit, do some calf stretches, and then mini squats.  If you would rather not do this little workout in front of a room full of strangers,  then you can take it outside.  Ask at the desk approximately how long the wait will be when you check in.  If you've got 10 minutes or more before the doctor will see you, inform the staff of your plans to walk a bit.  If you see someone you know in the waiting room, invite them to join you.  

Watching Television:  After a long day, you may just feel like lounging on the couch while you watch your favorite television shows.  Rest and sleep are essential for rejuvenation and health.  But if you've been sitting all day, it's important to get up and move any chance you get.  Leave snacks on the kitchen counter so you'll have to get up to get them (um, and don't watch TV in the kitchen).  During each commercial break, do a set of push ups, sit ups, or jumping jacks.  If you have the space, you could even put your treadmill or elliptical in the same room as the TV, so you could get your cardio in while you enjoy your favorite programs.  If you have weights at home, get some strength training in as well.

Surfing the Net:  With all the mobile devices out there today, it can be easy to stand or walk and surf at the same time.  But be aware of your surroundings.  Don't go bumping into, cutting off, or knocking down others just to keep moving and surfing at the same time.  If you're using a laptop or desktop, be sure to take a break every 20 to 30 minutes to get up, stretch, walk around the house or office, feed the cat, take the dog for a walk, fix lunch, have a bathroom break, get some coffee, and so on.  There are plenty of reasons to take those breaks, the most important being your health.

Enjoying Your Hobbies:  It is easy to get caught up in reading your favorite book, or painting your latest masterpiece, or sorting through old photographs to put in a scrapbook, or trying to solve a crossword puzzle.  But you need to get up and move now and then.  You could very well stand to do these things, but standing for a long period of time isn't a good idea either.  You need that movement to keep your body healthy.  Try setting a timer for 20 minutes.  Every 20 minutes make a point to get up out of your seat, walk around, and stretch.  Also, try starting these activities about 30-45 minutes before you need to pick the kids up at school, leave for an important meeting, or prepare for a friend's arrival.  That way, you get some satisfying downtime in, but you're not sitting there for hours on end.  

Hopefully these tips will help you move more and sit less.  I'm always looking for new ideas.  Let me know how you've managed to add more movement to you day.  Comment below or email me at  Thanks!  Have a great weekend.  And, remember to move!  :-)

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