Have you heard? Sitting for hours at a time is being declared the new smoking. As in: don’t do it if you want to live long and healthy. Studies are being released one after the other connecting how many hours a day we sit to our likelihood of suffering from heart trouble, cancer, diabetes, dementia, high blood pressure - regardless of other exercise we do or don’t do. It’s a tough reality to allow in a life - a culture even - that requires a lot of sitting. I mean, it just doesn’t seem fair - when you eat right, work out - now we can’t sit and work without worry or guilt?
But there’s a nice loophole, so fear not. It only takes a few minutes an hour to mitigate the damage. Here are three easy ways to beat the seat and spring into Spring. (Sorry, but that was fun to write.)
1. As you (hopefully) already do, drink lots of water throughout the day. Enough that you have to pee often - hint, hint. Then use the bathroom that’s farthest away from you in the building. Choose a flight or two of stairs, or a long hall. Take the scenic route.
2. When your phone rings, stand up to answer it, and stay up ‘till you hang up. Make it automatic that talking on the phone means standing and moving around.
3. Use a gadget to remind you. We all have at least one or two devices with timers on them right on our desk. Set it to go off at least every hour, or ideally every 20 minutes. When you hear it, don’t debate, don’t make an excuse, just do it: stand up for a minute or two, raise your arms, take a couple of deep breaths… Make the alarm a pleasant one, and let it ring until your behind is vertical. Bonus: you’ll be more productive when you sit back down!