Our ever increasing sedentary lifestyle is causing a down-sizing in daily activity and a corresponding up-sizing in our booties. We sit in the car to run errands, sit in an office chair for up to 8 hours a day, sit to dine, then sit on the lounge to relax after a long day at work. Is it any wonder then, that those in the know have deemed “sitting the new smoking!”
While lighting up a dart is a guarantee to a shrinking lifespan, the modern, sedentary lifestyle contributes to a cluster of chronic and profoundly costly “sitting diseases”. They include increase in fat gain and obesity, rising blood sugar levels, decrease in insulin sensitivity, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, increase in the risk of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, increased chances of dementia, depression, anxiety and a decrease in libido (nah I made that last one up!)
Humans are habitual creatures. It takes from 17-21 days to form a habit and 18 to 254 days to break one. (Not sure why I put that in but it’s interesting eh?) A sedentary lifestyle is a bad habit that we need to break, so how do we do this?
For the WFHomer’s, before you start thinking it’s lucky you live in tracksuit pants because you’ll never fit into the rest of your clothes again anyway, there is good news. If you work remotely, you may have lost some incidental exercise, but you gained the time you used to spend commuting. What are you doing with that time (aside from scarfing donuts?) Here are some suggestions –
- Build movement into your work activities – Pace up and down the hallway when on phone calls. Plan walking meetings with clients who are also happy to walk and talk.
- Sit on an unstable seat, like an exercise ball that reaches the same height as your regular desk chair.
- Take a full hour (or more) for your lunch break and go for a walk. If this is a new gig for you, start with a 10 minute walk and increase over time.
- Get out of the house (said in a very shouty tone!) Establish a morning exercise routine and then see your productivity increase.
- Get out of your pyjamas! It’s defs more comfortable working in your jimmy jams but getting dressed will make you feel more productive and give you more energy.
- Take a break every 30 minutes.
- Position your work surface above a treadmill.
You get the picture, now stand up! (again, shouty)