Last blog I broke down the Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. I focused on how much physical activity is recommended and included tips on how to incorporate it into your everyday life. (Check it out!!) However, how long we sit per day is just as detrimental to our health as not doing enough exercise. Even if you do enough, or more than recommended, physical activity, think about the amount of time you sit throughout the day. You sit at your desk for 7 hours +, you sit in the car commuting to and from work, you sit to watch t.v at night, you sit to socialise with family and friends. Hmmm… we spend a lot of time sitting. I’ve come up with 8 tips on how to sit less that you can try to incorporate into your everyday life. Let’s decrease our risk of many, many chronic illnesses by making some simple changes to sit less.
Commuting To Work
If you sit for a prolonged period commuting to the same office day in day out, try break it up. If you’re close enough consider riding a bike to work. Alternatively, you could park a couple of km’s away from work and walk or cycle the rest.
Sit Stand Desk
Whether you have a regular office set up or you work on the road, a sit stand desk set up is doable. Companies are becoming savvy to the benefits of sit stand desks and office set ups are changing for the better. If you work on the road or don’t have a regular office space, you will need to be more creative with your approach. There are portable sit stand desks available. Other options are at café’s standing at the breakfast bar with a stool option for sitting.
Stand When On The Phone
Use phone calls as an opportunity to stand instead of sit especially if you don’t need to use the computer at the same time. If you’ve got the freedom and you know it’s a long call even turn it into a walk.
Walking On Lunch Breaks
We tend to sit, eat and chat on our lunch breaks (or sit on Facebook!). What if you sat to eat and then spent the rest of your lunch break walking and chatting with your colleagues. Or if you’re lucky enough to have great cafes close by, walk to lunch. Get your daily dose of Vitamin D!
Walking meetings are becoming all the rage. If you work in a team environment, then approach your team for an alternate meeting environment and start walking meetings. This can also be possible if your meetings are over the phone. Walking meetings will keep the team more alert compared to traditional meetings where you could sit for hours.
Set A Timer For 1 Hour
I know what its like to get lost in your work and realise 2 hours have passed. So, set a timer on your phone for 1 hour, get up and move around. Do a few stretches, make a coffee or change tasks to something that is standing or moving based. A timer keeps you accountable.
Walking To Grocery Store
Sedentary behaviour isn’t just a problem in the work place, but also the home too. We sit for all those trips back and forth to the grocery store. If you live close enough take a backpack and do small, but regular trips to the supermarket.
Less TV At Night
Relaxing in front of the t.v is a serious modern day ritual especially with unlimited Netflix series at our finger tips. I’ve spent too many hours on the couch binging Game Of Thrones. Don’t get me wrong we definitely need our wind down time to relax, but try break it up. In between episodes or on commercials, get up to make a hot chocolate, tidy up the kitchen or try something a little crazy and do a few exercises.
Let's sit less.