Last week I talked about time management and the mindset of time spent compared to time invested. Link to blog
This week I want to look at some strategies to help combat the sedentary life.
If you really look at your daily or weekly routine you might be very surprised of the lack of activity. I bet we spend more time in a chair then we do out of one. It would be interesting to time yourself to see how many hours a day you are seated.
As a society, we have become very sedentary!
Our parents’ and grandparents ‘lived a much more active and less sedentary life. You can look at the development of technology and many other factors to understand why we have become less active. One of the results of our society becoming less active is the amount of sickness it is causing. You can look around and see a lot of unhealthy individual who are most likely on some type of medication due to the lack of activity.
A sedentary life can be simple to fix and you might have to stay away from that chair just a little more each day. Yes, there is an answer to concur that sedentary life and it is simple. MOVE MORE….
It is really that simple.
Now, I am not downplaying an intense weight training or cardio workout. You still need to make this part of your life a few times a week. But beyond the workouts, you will want avoid that evil chair and try to move more.
I know you might ask, what do you mean by move more?
Well it is just as simple as getting up and walking around, taking the stairs, or going to the mail box. The bottom line is we need to move more, not only with the duration of time but also with the frequency. If you look at the new recommendations it is suggesting that we get up and move around every 20 minutes.
I know this seem like it would be a bit distracting during your workday.
In reality, you might find that you will focus better and have more creativity if you step back from your work a couple of times every few hours during your workday. The mind will only allow use to be laser-focused for an extended period before it needs a break for a bit of a recharge. Introducing small movement and activity away from your seat will not only help your health, but it can also increase productivity.
I know it might be a big adjustment to incorporate frequent breaks in our work day, but half the battle will be remembering to take a short break from more to stand and move. A simple solution to help with remembering to get up and move is to set your phone timer to remind you. Identify how often you are going to get up and move and set that timer. It will be a big adjustment at first, but you will start to embrace the small break.
One of the questions I often get when I recommend this technique is “what should I do when I get up?”
Well, I have placed a list of ideas that will help you incorporate some more movement in your sedentary workday:
- Hold walking meetings. Some people have found success in taking meetings outside. Walking along a park’s trail works just as well as sitting around a conference table.
- Install a treadmill desk. Treadmill desks are simply treadmills with a desk attachment upon which you can place your computer, phone and other office supplies. You can work while walking at a slow speed.
- Take the stairs. If you typically use an elevator to get to your office or your apartment, consider taking the stairs instead. You can also use the stairs to just get a little movement in during your sitting breaks.
- Choose a different parking spot. Rather than choosing a close parking spot, choose one that will force you to have a good walk when visiting stores or arriving for work.
- Stand up when the phone rings. Make it a habit to not take calls sitting down.
- Mingle while standing. If you are used to sinking into a chair in the break room or at networking events, resist the urge; socialize on your feet.
If you can implement a few of these ideas into your workday it can help combat some of your inactivity, but you also need to keep a good resistance training and cardiovascular program going as well.
Try to keep moving your health depends on it!
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