Sitting is the new smoking, some doctors say. Just like smoking, it increases your risk of getting chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
And, just like smoking, it’s hard to quit.
The “sitting disease” is not a medical term per se, but the danger is real. The health risks related to sitting too much are higher among those who do little or no exercise, but even those who exercise regularly are still at risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and death.
Prolonged sitting can increase your risk of disease and early death even if you have an otherwise healthy lifestyle.
We’ve become so sedentary that even 30 minutes per day at the gym may not counteract the detrimental effects of many hours of sitting — and, let’s be honest, how many of us do 30 minutes of gym daily?
Even if you’re one of those rare people, exercising for half an hour a day is not enough if you spend the remaining 23 and half hours at the computer table, on your couch, and in bed.
Here is How to Reduce Your Sitting Time
Below are some simple but effective ways to move more throughout the day.
- Monitor your sitting time. Use a time tracker app on your smartphone or a wristband fitness tracker to track the sitting periods. Once you start counting, you are more likely to change your behavior.
- Find opportunities to move more during your working days. In the office, take a break every half an hour to stand up, stretch or move around, go to the restroom or make a cup of tea. Instead of emailing a colleague, walk over to his or her desk. Stand in your coworker’s office to discuss the issue, or suggest taking a walk to talk things through. When watching TV in the evening, make a couple of stretches, squats, and push-ups during commercials.
- Change your daily routes. Use every chance to park your car further from the office or shop than usual. This doesn’t necessarily mean three blocks further; even taking a far edge of the parking lot would make a difference over the course of months and years.
- Take the stairs instead of using an elevator. Every walk up and down the stairs shapes and tones the muscles in your legs and lower body. Climbing stairs for two minutes, both ways, five days a week adds up to an extra 20 minutes of walking done that week.
- Talk standing. Don’t sit while chatting on the phone! Stand up and pace around instead.
- Have walking meetings. Instead of meeting your friends in a restaurant or coffee place, invite them to have a walk first. You can gossip all you want while having a stroll in the park, and go to your favorite café after working up some proper appetite.
- Take a hike or just have a walk outdoors on weekend. Being in nature will get both your body and brain refreshed. You’ll be more energetic and creative during the whole week to come!
With these small changes in your daily routines, you can get all the health benefits, if not more, than people who work out in a gym but are inactive in their daily lives.
You will feel great, weight less, and your chances to face some of the most troublesome health issues of our time will decrease.
Share this with friends and remind them to live healthier, too!