Did you know that even if you run three miles every morning, it won’t offset the potential damage done by spending the next eight hours sitting at your desk? Some even say that sitting is the new smoking.
According to the Mayo Clinic, too much sitting poses a wide range of health risks, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels and an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Prolonged sitting also takes its toll on your emotional health, increasing anxiety and stress during the course of the day.
But what are you to do if you have one of the myriad of jobs that revolve around a desk—compounded by more sitting behind the wheel and an hour or two in front of the TV at night? Here are some simple—yet hugely important—ideas to get you up and moving around throughout the day:
Have a few calls to make? Stand up while you make them. Better yet, if you’re on your cellphone, do a little pacing while you talk.
Do more in-person communication. Instead of shooting off another email or text, take a stroll over to your colleague’s desk to deliver your message in-person.
Have walking meetings. Ditch the conference room and take a stroll to the nearest Starbucks for your next meeting. Or take a few laps around the nearest track.
Get a standing desk. There are a lot of affordable options in this arena, including simple attachments that allow you to raise your desktop when you’d like. Or, if you can afford a splurge, opt for a treadmill desk.
Never work through lunch. Even if it’s just a 20-minute break, get out and move around at lunch time. Run an errand or take a few laps around the parking lot. Inclement weather? Go browse the shelves at your local library, or at the very least, eat standing up in the break room.
Set your phone alarm to remind you to get up and move at least once every hour, even if it’s just standing and stretching.
Any kind of casual movement that gets you upright will help the effort. Your mind and body will thank you.