We are all well aware that we need to be active and evidence suggests that we also need to spend less time sitting down, a LOT less time. Over the past 10 years, many studies have confirmed that sitting for prolonged periods is as harmful to your health as stress and as a result many companies are providing their staff with a Sit Stand Desk to offset some of the negative impact.
More than half of our waking hours are spent sitting: either working at a computer, commuting, watching television or other sedentary pursuits, and all that sitting could be sending us to an early grave – even for those who exercise up to an hour a day.
It’s not all doom and gloom. The good news is that a few small changes to our day can make all the difference. We’ve put together some handy tips to keep in mind to keep you fit and active, even while at work.
Top tips for active working
- Wherever possible, stand during meetings and presentations
- If possible get yourself a Sit/Stand workstation. Sit/Stand desks are changing the way we work, helping to minimise the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle
- Get up and move around when talking on the phone
- Stay on your feet when waiting for public transport to and from work
- Use the stairs instead of taking escalators and lifts
- Do simple stretching exercises when seated at your desk: raise your arms, move your neck from side to side, place your hands on your lower back and lean backwards, lift your legs up and down, gently shake your feet
- If it’s absolutely essential for you to sit for a long time and you can’t get yourself a Sit/Stand desk, remember to take regular breaks and short walks
- Keep hydrated – pay more visits to the water dispenser (and bathroom), to boost mobility, tissue health and range of motion.
- When needing to communicate with a colleague in the office, go to speak to them to discuss the matter rather than emailing them
- Make time for an outdoor walk during your lunch break
It is important to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Small changes like drinking water, getting up to walk around, investing in healthy snacks and even a quick stretch can help break up the day and give your body a refresher. Coupled with using a sit-stand workstation, you may burn up to 30 percent more calories.
Stand and move during the working day – and integrate physical activity to achieve health and wellbeing!