Do you sit too much? Tips for getting fit minutes into your day.

Feb 27, 2018 HIIT

sitting too muchWhat is a typical day like for you? Perhaps this scenario sounds familiar - you get up early to get ready for work. Once ready, you get in your car and prepare yourself to drive in rush hour traffic to work. You work an 8-hour-a-day desk job and then drive back home during rush hour. Once home, you need to unwind. You might sit in front of the TV, play on your phone, do some online shopping etc.  Before you know it, it’s time to head to bed and do it all over again the next day.

What are you most likely doing during a good portion of the day that I described above? Sitting. According to a poll conducted by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, it’s likely that you spend a whopping 56 hours a week sitting – staring at your computer screen at work, watching TV, driving. Sitting all day while working is very common these days. Even if you are a very energetic person, it’s almost unavoidable.

Research suggests that prolonged periods of sitting and inactivity can raise your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Humans are meant to move, and our new sedentary lifestyles have put us at risk for disease. If you tend to sit throughout most of your day and the scenario described above sounds all too familiar, what can you do to sneak in some daily activity during a typical work day?

  • Go for some non-exercise activity. This would include stretching, turning and bending. Try to aim for 10 minutes every hour, for 5 to 6 hours a day. Setting these small goals for yourself makes it easier to accomplish and less overwhelming!

  • Incorporate activity throughout the day, not just at the gym. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take a walk at lunch instead of chatting in the break room. Walk down the hall to talk to your coworker instead of sending an email or calling them on the phone.

  • Look for opportunities to stand up. Standing actually uses more muscles and burns more calories than sitting. Stand up during meetings if it’s not too disruptive. Stand while talking on the phone.

  • Change the way you do business. Start having more walk-and-talk meetings. Arrange the office in a way in which it encourages you and your colleagues to get up and move.

  • Take a quick 15-minute walk. Everyone starts to lose steam in the afternoon. Many people will reach for sweets as a pick-me-up. Try taking a 15-minute walk instead. You’ll come back to your work feeling more refreshed and be more productive during your last couple hours of work.

  • Re-examine your commute. Many of us may be limited on how we commute to work. If public transportation is an option, consider taking the bus or train so that you can stand instead of sitting in your car. Even making just the smallest of changes like parking further away and walking to the building can be helpful.

  • Multitask during TV time. Try marching in place or tidying up the room while the TV is on. Maybe you have some exercise equipment you can move in front of the TV? Throw in some ab exercises!

It can be tough to change your daily habits, but try starting small. Start with a couple of these recommendations and practice making daily changes! Your body will thank you for it and ultimately, you’ll be taking a more proactive approach to improving your health and well-being!