Did you know that sitting down for more than 3 hours daily can decrease your life expectancy by 2 years? A study published in an online medical publication, BMJ Open, determined that there’s a relationship between life expectancy and sitting. Even if you exercise every day, the consequences of sitting can’t be eliminated. Most jobs require you to sit at a desk for about 8 hours every day. If research proves sitting down leads to illness, how can you reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down? Try the following tips to sit less:
1. Use a treadmill desk
A treadmill desk is a good way to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting down and also lets you burn extra calories.
2. Use a standing desk
Just like a treadmill desk, a standing desk means just that. This desk is adjusted so the computer is at eye level and the keyboard is located at elbow level. This type of desk reduces the amount of time you spend sitting. Some are even designed so you can easily adjust their height. That way you can alternate the time you spend sitting with standing.
Important note about standing desks: While it’s true they decrease the time you spend sitting down, you are also forced to remain in the same position for a period of time. Now, keeping your body in the same position while sitting or standing is not healthy. The best strategy is to avoid it and walk or move every hour.
3. Drink only from a small cup or glass
If you use a small cup or glass, you have to get up to refill it more often. At the same time, the more you drink, the more you’ll have to go to the bathroom. With this trick you double the times you have to get up from your desk and reduce the time you spend sitting down!
4. Take a break
There are many ways you can do this. For example, you can set an alarm in your phone every hour to remind you to get up. You can also get a step counter to remind you to walk. So every hour or two, you get up from your desk and walk around the office for a few minutes. You can extend this time by using the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to lunch instead of driving. You can also take a break by stretching your joints. In addition, get some dumbbells and lift them every hour.
5. Other ways to add movement to your workday
The following tips increase your levels of physical activity and prevent you from being sedentary.
- Park far away from the entrance, so you walk more.
- If you use public transportation, get off before your stop and walk the rest of the way.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk after having lunch.
These tips give you many ideas to avoid sitting down for too long. Just because you have to work at a desk doesn’t mean you are glued to it. All you have to do is take small breaks from sitting and the negative consequences are reduced. Once you get into the habit of walking and standing up every hour, you’ll do it automatically.