How would you describe your typical day? Are you constantly moving and walking all over the place? Or are you chained to your desk and sitting down for most of the day? If it is the latter, you are not alone. Most of us spend more than half of our waking hours sitting down. A lot of research shows the benefits to sit less, move more.
Think about it. You roll out of bed, sit down for breakfast, sit on the bus, take the escalators to your desk and then sit down for 8-10 hours. There’s only a break for lunch, where you also sit down. That is a lot of sitting and not much moving. Even if you go sweat it out in the gym after work, studies have shown that all that sitting is still doing you harm.
It is becoming clear that our bodies do not like sitting down all day. The research is starting to show, that if we spend extended hours sitting down (which most of us are) we are at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke. It is not quite clear why it is so bad for us but some health experts believe that when we sit for long periods we interrupt our bodies’ metabolism. This leads to a lot of gunk (including fat and sugar) piling up in our bloodstream and over time this can lead to poor health.
What is the solution to sit less and move more?
Obviously we can’t give up work and walk for a living, but we can be more conscious of how we move throughout the day.
Maybe avoiding future health problems does not get you up and moving. You’ll bound to want to sit less and move more after learning that you burn 20% more calories standing than you do sitting down!
Start to look for opportunities where you can be active rather than passive! To sit less and move more, it could involve walking whilst talking on the phone. Stack up boxes on your desk for a DIY standing desk.
If there is something important you need to discuss with a colleague, consider walking whilst you talk it over. Why not stand on the MRT rather than sit? Save the fighting for seats for others!
Keep an eye on the time. Every hour, stand up for at least a minute to let your muscles know you are still alive and kicking! Every couple of hours, go for a quick 5 minute walk around the office or outside. Setting an alarm on your phone may make this easier to remember.
If you begin to sit less and move more throughout the day, not only will your body thank you, so will you boss! Short quick breaks are a catalyst for improved productivity, focus and mental clarity.
Most importantly, don’t forget, you are not a robot. You are not designed to sit for hours on end and produce flawless work. You are human and need interaction with people, fresh air and movement. This will get your blood pumping and your heart singing! So stand up and take every opportunity you can to sit less move more!