We all know that in order to combat obesity and encourage overall wellness, exercise should be an important part of our day. But if you are like millions of others with good intentions, you fit 30 to 45 minutes of exercise into your day but 12 hours or more of sitting. Between sitting at your chair at work, sitting on the train or in the car during your commute and watching television on the couch at night, those hours and hours of sitting can really begin to add up. Unfortunately, sitting does not come without consequences. Discover just how harmful long bouts of sitting can be for the body, how you can change that by standing up at work and how to get others on board with your ideas.
How Sitting Can Negatively Affect Your Health
To put it bluntly, those who sit more are those who have greater health problems overall. Sitting for long periods of time, as it turns out, can be an indicator of obesity, weight gain, heart conditions and even cholesterol. When you are sitting, your muscles just aren’t moving. This reduces blood flow and circulation, and it can cause your metabolism to slow down for a big part of you day. Along with these serious health problems, sitting for long periods of time can also lead to aches and pains. Many individuals who are sedentary for most of the day complain of ailments like deep vein thrombosis, herniated discs, back aches and neck pain.
Ways to Increase Activity and Reduce Sitting at Work
Even after you learn about the negative effects of sitting all day, you still have to go to work. For most people, working at a desk in an office setting is all just a part of the job. However, there are some simple and effective ways to stop sitting and start moving more at work. If you walk into a health-oriented office today, you might find standing desks instead of seated ones. These standing desks force you to use many of your muscles throughout the day, which in turn causes you to burn more calories and put less pressure on your hips and lower back. Some people even take it one step further by installing desks on their treadmills, which allows them to cover a few very slow miles over the course of a normal work day. If the idea of standing all day doesn’t appeal to you, consider replacing your chair with a round workout ball. These force you to use your muscles to stabilise your body, but they won’t draw attention to you in the same way that standing up might do.
How Standing at Work Can Increase Productivity
It is clear to see that standing at work can positively affect your health, but it can also improve your productivity. When you sit for long periods of time, your circulation slows, and it can be a signal to the brain that you no longer need to focus. By standing or moving around, you will be getting plenty of oxygenated blood to the brain to spark new ideas and keep you focused on the tasks at hand.
Getting Others Interested in Your Plan For the Office
Many office employees love the idea of standing during the day both for increased productivity and overall wellness. Unfortunately, some individuals are discouraged because no one else in the office is on board with the plan. Suggest to your boss that for the next meeting, you all take a walk outside instead of sitting. You might find that everyone enjoys themselves more, and you might even get more done in less time. Make sure that your boss knows about the ways that increased exercise can reduce illness in employees, which might even reduce their health insurance costs. Standing at work can be good for employees, but it can also be good for the company’s bottom line.
Even if you make time to exercise for 30 minutes or more each day, the time you spend sitting at work and at home might be negating your efforts. By implementing these standing at work strategies, you can increase your metabolism, burn more calories during the day and even eliminate or reduce some of the most common neck, back and shoulder pains.
Image courtesy of jennywrendesigns.blogspot