Sit Less, Move More, Live Longer?
September 25, 2017
We’ve all heard it before, “sitting too long and moving too little are bad for your health.” Every week there seems to be a new study confirming that the more we sit, the more harm we do to our health. So the question has to be asked: what are we going to do about it? The answer is deceptively simple – move!
Whether you exercise once a day or once a year, sitting for prolonged periods of time has harmful effects on your overall health. The simple solution to this problem is to add movement into your daily routine. Before we discuss ways to add more movement and decrease time spent sitting, let’s start with a simple solution and stand up. Take a moment and stand up to read the rest of this article. Get the blood flowing to your legs and feet. That simple step can help decrease neck, shoulder, and lower back pain and improve blood circulation. Now, let’s explore some ways to add more movement into the day.
If you work in an office, you probably spend much of your day seated at a computer. Sedentary time can easily add up. For many of us, a typical day consists of a half hour commute to work, working at a desk for eight hours, driving home, then watching a couple hours of television before going to sleep. It’s easy to see how a large proportion of the population spends 10-12 hours of every day sitting. With that amount of sedentary time, exercising in the morning or evening is not enough to counteract the negative effects of sitting throughout the day. But there are some simple ways to add more movement to your day without disrupting your routine or decreasing your productivity. On the contrary, studies have shown that moving more throughout the day can increase productivity and give you a boost of energy.
Here’s a list of ideas for adding movement to each portion of your day. Pick your favorites and try them out this week.
Set your alarm ten minutes earlier than normal. Use that time to walk around the block before leaving for work, or do a quick yoga session to awaken your mind and your muscles.
No need to stay in one place while you floss your teeth. Walk up and down your hallway a few times.
Park your car farther away than usual and walk a few extra blocks to work. Bonus points: Take the stairs instead of the elevator!
Set an alarm for every thirty minutes. When it goes off, stand up, stretch, and take a few steps around the room or down the hall.
Don’t email or call your co-workers. Walk to their desks when you need to chat. You’ll get an answer more quickly and add some steps to your day.
Use your lunch break to get in a healthy dose of movement. Walk around outside, or do some laps up and down the stairs indoors. Make it fun by inviting your coworkers to join you in getting some exercise during the lunch hour.
Stand up! You don’t have to invest in a fancy standing desk, just use a box or other item around the office to elevate your computer and keyboard so you can stand while you work.
Go for a walk or bike ride after dinner.
If you’re watching TV, stand up and walk around during commercial breaks. Bonus points: stretch, do yoga, or a strength training routine while you watch TV.
Wind down before bed with an easy stretching routine.
Making small changes to your daily routine can have a huge impact on your overall health. The first step is to adopt a movement-focused mindset. When we look for ways we can be more active, moving becomes easier and sitting loses some of its appeal. Over time, you may find that your muscles and joints actually feel less stiff and sore when you are standing or moving than when you are sitting.
ECA believes that movement is key to overall wellbeing. In addition to physical benefits, physical activity improves mental and emotional health and has been shown to alleviate symptoms of depression. Civic Park will foster movement for competitive and recreational athletes alike. In addition to offering sports and recreation, Civic Park will include a pedestrian pathway that encourages walking and biking to and from the facility. KIDSPORTS will also offer programs that instruct children and adults in the important role that physical activity plays in overall health. As we look at the possibilities for Civic Park, we continue to evaluate each area of the facility and determine how we can use it to promote movement and activity for athletes and spectators alike. In this way, Civic Park will demonstrate healthy habits that everyone in our community can adopt.
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