You’ve heard it before: sitting is the new smoking.
Our bodies are built to be upright. Emerging studies show that sitting for prolonged periods of time every day obstructs your bodily systems from working effectively and can actually shorten your lifespan, even if you are generally active. Here are 10 simple things you can slot into your daily routine to spend less time hunched and more time healthy:
This does not have to be an intense hour of pumping iron or running; a leisurely 25-minute stroll on the treadmill is all you need to engage the muscles. It’s also unlikely you’ll work up enough sweat to need to shower afterwards. You could even watch an episode of your favourite TV show while you’re at it to pass the time quickly. If that’s not an incentive, then what is?
This may seem much less daunting than a treadmill! There are great benefits to using a standing desk, such as improving posture and increasing blood circulation which can enhance creativity. Why not try standing for a few minutes while sending an email or editing a document?
Walking a short distance to a local café or park for lunch can be a really easy way to build up your daily step count. Having a scene change and some fresh air will almost certainly increase productivity.
Time can escape us when we’re sitting. Set an alarm for at least once an hour to remind you to stand up, walk around, fill up your bottle or simply stretch.
An inevitable outcome of drinking lots of water is that (surprise!) you will need to use the bathroom a lot. Perhaps you could use a bathroom on another floor or on the other side of the building? Either way, use this as an opportunity to stretch your legs and get your blood flowing. And don’t forget to top up your bottle on the way back.
Apple watches, Fitbits and Nike+ FuelBands can motivate you to walk more as they display how many steps you’ve done each day. If you want to engage in some friendly workplace competition, invite your co-workers to join you and see who can reach the highest step count of the day.
If you have a one-to-one meeting with a colleague, invite them to get a coffee with you or go outside. This can be a great way to build deeper relationships with fellow co-workers as well as allow your body to move. Walking meetings can also make uncomfortable or difficult conversations a lot easier as you won’t be sitting across from each other.
Arranging quick or informal meetings around the kitchen bar will allow both you and your colleagues to stretch and will free up conference rooms.
If your call doesn’t require note-taking, then stroll the halls or climb some stairs while on the phone.
Going to speak with colleagues directly is much more effective than email if you require an immediate response. Interacting face-to-face will also minimise the possibility of miscommunication, and may also serve to deepen relationships by making you appear more personable.
Strive for a healthier tomorrow by taking a stand today.