According to a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Jan 2015) if you are sitting for greater than eight hours per day you can expect to die sooner than your peers. Even for those who exercise regularly, prolonged sitting is associated with increased incidences of heart attacks, diabetes and cancer. For those who don't exercise regularly we see even higher rates of disease and mortality.
Here are some tips that will help you get out of your chair at work and at home.
- Schedule a short break each hour to stand up to get a drink of water. While you are up you can do some stretches.
- If you frequently find yourself in the zone while working on a project and the hours start to slip by then here's one for you. Take a kitchen timer and put it on the other side of the office where you can't reach it or roll to it. Set the timer for 30-45 minutes and when the alarm sounds you will be forced to leave your desk to switch it off.
- Get an adjustable standing desk. This will help you to alternate between seated and standing positions while you work. If you missed a few days of work last year due to neck or back pain then this is a great investment.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park at the back of the lot.
- Drink more water and your bladder will get you out from behind your desk on a regular basis.
- Schedule walking meetings. For small meetings that only include two or three people see if you can get your co-workers to go for a walk while you discuss the agenda items.
- Move a treadmill or stationary bike into the family room. Now, when you watch television you can get your heart moving.
I hope these tips are helpful to everyone out there that rides a desk and punches computer keys all day. You may find that your neck or back is giving you problems due to all that sitting. If that is the case then come on down and see what we can do to help with that.