Even if you're usually extremely active, there's a good chance you're finding yourself sitting around way too much now. Even if you're a student who used to have the benefit of getting up and walking to other classes, that might not be the case now with the need for online classes. And if you're working from home, there's a good chance you're sitting even more than you used to. Do yourself a favor whether you're working or in school, and get up from your desk more often. That's especially true if you're getting a bit too cozy on your couch. Get up!
Previous to the pandemic, it was estimated that 75% of the workforce had desk jobs. Whether you're back in your office, working remotely, or struggling to find enough work to keep busy and pay the bills, you're probably sitting entirely too much, and the negative effects of constant sitting is bad for your health. Here are a few negative impacts of sitting too much:
- Tension and soreness in muscles and joints from holding a fixed position too long
- Numbness, weakness, and atrophy (shrinkage) in inactive muscles
- Issues with lower-body blood flow and circulation
- Hip pain or discomfort and decreased range of motion
- Neck and back pain
- Increasingly poor posture
- Increased risk of disease
- Weight gain due to decreased activity and reduced lipase circulation
It should also be noted that regular exercise won't necessarily offset the negative effects of prolonged periods of sitting. Plus, sitting for six hours or more per day decreases life expectancy compared to people who sit for three hours or less per day.
So, if you work from home, in an office, are taking remote courses for school, or simply sit around too much for any reason at all, how can you avoid all these potential health risks? The answer is simple: Get up!
Here are some simple changes you can make throughout your day to helpâ€¦
Park farther away: Park far away from the entrance to your office or school to give yourself a little extra movement at the beginning and end of your day, and possibly even for lunch. As an added bonus, you'll avoid potential door dings on your car.
Walk or ride: If it's close enough and the weather is decent, consider walking or riding a bike a few days a week. Also make sure to get up throughout the day to walk, even if it's just a short journey for a bathroom or coffee break, and use a smaller coffee mug to force yourself up more often for refills. Even simple things like walking to a coworker's office instead of sending an email or instant message will help keep you mobile.
Take the stairs: It's always a healthier choice to take the stairs rather than an escalator or elevator. Engage all those lower-body muscles and joints that would otherwise be neglected throughout the day. And if you find that you do have joint pain or a lack of mobility, consider trying Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM. It's great for strengthening joints and connective tissue for improved flexibility and mobility.
Keep things out of reach: Yeah, it can seem like a pain to keep your stapler and other office supplies out of reach, but do yourself a favor and move everything just far enough that you can't lean over to get them. That will force you to get up from your desk and walk across your office or cubicle. That few extra seconds now could be well worth it in the long run.
Raise your desk: Request an adjustable standing desk if you can or even create a separate mobile work station that you can work from while standing for part of the day. If all else fails, get creative and stack books or boxes where you can place your monitor or laptop.
Keep in mind that it's not good to stand all day either, so vary between sitting and standing, and keep up with the random walks around the office whenever possible.
Move: Set a timer or use a desktop app to remind you to get up every 30-45 minutes. Take a short walk, stretch, squat, jump, lunge, toss in a few jumping jacks... Whatever you like! You'll find that doing any or all of this will not only make you feel healthier, but you'll also become more productive and focused on your work thanks to the increased blood flow.
Getting up to move and stretch a couple of times per hour or taking a short walk around the office will ensure you get up and stop sitting so much. You'll engage lower-body muscles that will increase circulation and help avoid long-term issues that could result in pain, immobility, or numbness. Do it for a couple of weeks and watch it become your newest healthy habit.