In 2017, the British Heart Foundation released a shocking report. The report, investigating physical activity and sedentary patterns in the UK, stated that more than 20 million adults were physically inactive.
A sedentary lifestyle is simply one that is characterised by a high level of sitting and a low level of physical activity. Believe it or not, every single one of us falls prey to this way of life, no matter how active you are. Today in 2022, sedentariness has become an integral part of our culture.
Below, we outline the ways you can break free from a sedentary lifestyle and strive for a healthier and happier future.
Health issues caused by a sedentary lifestyle
From diabetes and poor blood circulation to bad posture and hip problems, excessive sitting can generate a range of health issues. The problem is that our bodies are not designed to slouch all day. We are built to be vertical: to move, to be active and to engage our bones and muscles in regular movement in order to keep them healthy.
When we are chair-bound, our muscles, bones, joints, and even our hearts, are idle. When this occurs for hours on end over a period of months and years, our body parts become weak and lose their ability to function effectively. As we’ll discover, the benefits of standing up at work and being a little more active during the day are profound.
Going to the gym is not enough
As mentioned before, every one of us falls prey to the perils of sedentariness, regardless of how generally active you are. Hitting the gym after sitting at a desk for 8 hours will not remedy the damage already done. Sure, it’ll help you to feel better, and may slowly improve your fitness, but what about the other 23 hours of the day you spend at your desk, sitting on the couch and sleeping?
Our bodies require a range of movement to remain healthy: from strenuous exercise to simple activities such as regular walking, washing dishes by hand, shuffling around on our feet while working, and cooking meals.
Break FREE from Sedentariness
Finally, the bit we’ve all been waiting for: how we can break free and throw down the shackles of sedentariness. The great thing is, avoiding the perils of excessive sitting is much simpler than you may think. Although there are no quick fixes, all it takes is a small shift in your mindset, a little commitment, and the will to get up and incorporate more movement into your day. One of the most sure-fire ways to ensure you stand up more is to use a standing desk at work.
‘How often should I stand at work?’, you may be asking. We recommend taking is slow to start off, maybe only standing for a few hours a day. Once you get into the swing of things, you can gradually increase this to longer periods until you are standing for the vast majority of the day. Increasing the amount you stand will have great benefits on your posture, your blood circulation, and a whole lot more.
As well as a stand-up desk and a good workout routine, try and include a few of these activities into your day:
- Walk and talk with a colleague instead of meeting them in the boardroom.
- Stand or walk while you eat lunch.
- Could you cycle to work? What about walk?
- Forget takeaways. Try cooking a delicious meal.
- Wash the dishes by hand.
- Get into the garden and trim the hedges, mow the lawn or pull out some weeds.
- Take a 5-minute stroll around the block in between your Netflix series.
Our bodies are built to move. They function most effectively when we are standing, walking and running. All it takes to overcome sedentariness is a little willpower and a slight change to your daily routine.
Good luck with your transformation, and make sure to keep an eye on our blog for more tips, advice, and benefits you can enjoy from a more active and non-sedentary lifestyle!