Have you ever Googled sitting? If you do, the first search results you’ll see are what you would expect, giving you definitions of what sitting is.
If you continue to browse through the search results, you’ll notice that, other than the definitions, all remaining results on the first page are about the health risks of too much sitting.
Why is sitting considered to be “the new smoking” for our health?
Whether you are binge watching Netflix, spending hours commuting to your job, or sitting all day at the office, long periods of sitting have been shown to increase the chances of disability, Type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and obesity, among other things. And to top it off, even if you exercise regularly to combat all of the hours you spend sitting, you are still more at risk of health problems than people who are not sitting for hours on end.
So what can we do right now to stop sitting so much and improve our health?
Over the last few months here at PMG, we’ve started integrating more areas in the office for employees to stand while working. The result has been a Standing Revolution, of sorts, with more and more employees incorporating standing into their work day.
Standing has helped many of us re-energize and feel better, and has encouraged us to move more throughout the day.
While standing has been an exciting and healthy new step for us, it isn’t the only solution to fixing the sitting crisis. More importantly than just standing, the goal is to find a balance between sitting and standing throughout the day, and to get up and move more often. To get healthier, we need to get in the habit of moving and away from spending hours in the same robotic position.
With all that said, how can you start moving more? Here are some healthy habits you can add into your daily work schedule:
- Get up from your desk (sitting or standing desk) once an hour and walk for a few minutes.
- Alternate between sitting at your desk for an hour and standing for an hour. (Don’t have a standing desk? There are a lot of standing desk options that you can buy online. You can even find creative ways to make your own standing desk. Take Stephen’s for example: https://www.pmg.com/blog/standing-desk/)
- Make it a habit to refill your water cup regularly. Not only is staying hydrated good for you, but the back and forth to the kitchen will keep you up and walking more during the day.
- If there’s an option between taking the elevator and the stairs, opt for the stairs.
- Consider buying an exercise ball. It can serve as a great replacement for your desk chair, and give you an easy way to move more while you’re sitting.
- Incorporate light activity into your work day. Find exercises that you can comfortably do at your desk. Forbes offers suggestions here.
While it’s not always easy to fit activity into the busy work day, the benefits of doing so are worth it. And starting to think about moving more is the first step to doing it.
Okay, now go!