The average American sits a lot. Many of us sit while we work, while we relax and while we learn. Over the long term, this sedentary way of life can have a negative impact on our health, increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer—in addition to shortening life spans. To counteract these negative effects, it’s important to get up, get active and get moving!
Even if you engage in a formal exercise program, it’s usually not enough to reverse the negative health effects of sitting most of the day, but it is a big step in the right direction. If your physician clears you to exercise, try doing a daily workout or at least exercise as often as you can throughout the week. Then use these tips to incorporate more movement throughout your day:
- Set a timer to get up every 30 minutes and stand, walk or stretch.
- If you sit at a desk, try a standing desk.
- Swap out your chair for an exercise ball to engage your muscles.
- Use part or all of your lunch break to take a walk.
- Walk places that are within a reasonable distance instead of sitting in a car.
- Use the stairs; they require extra effort, which helps to improve your health.
- Instead of fast forwarding through commercials when you watch your shows, use this time to take a break from sitting.
Taking a stand against excessive sitting may take a little bit of effort, but it will add years to your life and make you feel more energized while improving your health.