Reducing the time you spend sitting is a really easy and important way to improve your present and future health. Just a few minutes of standing each day really adds up over time and can help to reduce your risk of many medical conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
It’s important to minimise your sedentary behaviour regardless of how much exercise you do. There are risks associated with sitting which are independent to the amount of time you spend exercising. If you want to read more about why sitting is so bad and what’s going on in your body, read last weeks’s blog, ‘A Simple Way for Runners to Improve their Health’. Try to sit less over all and to break up any sitting time you do have by getting up every half an hour and moving around for a couple of minutes.
I promised I’d share some simple things you could think about doing to reduce the time you spend sitting, so here we go:
- Get up in every ad break when you’re watching TV.
- Drink lots of fluid so you need to get up to go to the toilet.
- Set a reminder on your desktop to move every 30 minutes.
- Wear a smart watch that regularly beeps at you to move.
- Walk around between Zoom calls.
- Stand up during meetings, or at least for part of them.
- Organise a walking meeting, they can be very productive with one or two colleagues.
- Stand up on the bus or train.
- Get off the bus or train the stop before your destination.
- Park ten minutes’ walk from your destination (that’s ten minutes less of sitting in the car).
- Learn to work standing up – it takes practice. Get a standing desk or put your keyboard on top of boxes or books to get it at the right level.
- Stand up when you send a text message.
- Walk around while you make phone calls.
- Go for a walk with a friend instead of a coffee (or get a take away to have on the move).
- Find an activity or hobby to do in the evening rather than just watching TV.
- Make a list of quick jobs that you can do as movement breaks, for example, putting a load of washing on, taking things upstairs, cleaning the microwave.
- Be the one who gets up to answer the door, let the dog in or make a cuppa.
- Wash your car instead of sitting in the drive-through.
- Go in to order your food instead of using the drive-through.
- Stand up in the departure lounge while waiting for your flight to board.
Remember, this is all about doing small things over and over again. It might not feel like very much to get up in the ad breaks but that could be four times for one programme and if you watch 5 programmes a week that’s 20 times you will have broken up your sedentary time. Over a year that works out as over a thousand times. That will definitely have a positive influence on your health.
I’d love to hear about some of the ways you try to reduce your sitting time. What have you put into action? What tasks do you do standing up that you used to do sitting down? Share in the comments or on my social media to inspire others.
Featured image by Lisa Fotios at Pixabay