Yep, you read that right: new studies suggest that sitting for long periods of time without movement is as bad for our bodies as smoking! That might seem extreme, but consider this: human beings were meant to move. Our bodies are designed to run, jump, lift, squat, swim and do all kinds of movements that we just don’t do anymore on a regular basis.
Many of us find ourselves in sedentary jobs that require we sit for long periods of time. That sitting only makes us more tired and lethargic. Ever noticed how, after a long day at work, all you want to do is go home and crash on the sofa? Sitting begets sitting.
If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, try these quick tips to get your body moving again.
- Walk don’t type Unfortunately, email has made us more sedentary than we need to be.Rather than sending an email to your co-worker, take the time to walk to his or her office and have a chat. This small amount of movement will do your body good and it’s always nicer to connect in person than through your keyboard.
- Split Up Your Movement. Studies have shown that doing one 30-minute chunk of exercise is just as effective as doing two 15-minute chunks of exercise. Good news! No more trying to figure out how to get in those steps all at once! This means that if you have a 30-minute lunch break, you can spend 15 minutes going for a walk and do another 15 minutes after work. Voila. Your 30 minute quota is filled for the day.
- Do Some Desk Exercise. Even small things make a huge difference. When you’ve been sitting for an hour, stand up and do 10 squats at your desk. If you’re in customer service and you spend your day on the phone, no one’s going to see you if you stop and do 10 squats in between calls! Jumping jacks, push-ups, squats and triceps dips are all simple exercises you can do right at your desk. Do 10 of each and you’ll be feeling pretty darn energized! Be sure to set a timer every hour so you remember to keep moving.
It’s really about taking care of your body and making sure that you don’t let things get too stagnant. Remember, the more you move, the more you’ll want to move because success breeds success!
One of my favorite quotes is “we don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old when we stop playing”. And I don’t know about you, but I intend to play for as long as I can…and that means…I need to keep moving!