Take a Stand: 4 Simple Ways to Add Movement to Your DayPosted: Apr 30 in Getting Active, Lifestyle, Obesity Medicine, WLCNY News by Staff
Modern life feels like it’s moving at an ever-faster pace, but a lot of it is spent not moving much at all. We spend too much time sitting – whether it’s at our desks, in our cars, or on the couch. Studies show that this lack of movement isn’t healthy; it’s associated with weight gain, lack of energy, back pain, and even decreased life spans. It’s all a bit alarming, but fortunately it’s not hard to find ways to incorporate more movement into your day.
These desks adjust to allow to you use your computer while standing, and come in a wide range of options – some even with treadmills attached. It’s definitely not for every office setting, but it’s something worth exploring especially if you have medical issues that would benefit from standing.
Before you go all in on a standing desk, though, test it out by putting a laptop on top of a filing cabinet or shelf. Many standing desks have the option to return to the usual sitting position.
Track Your Steps
There are all sorts of fitness trackers out there that you can strap to your wrist or put on your phone. With them you can set goals for the number of steps you want to get in a day. You still have to do all the work, but these devices can add a little extra motivation to keep you moving.
It can encourage you to park a little farther away, or take the stairs rather than riding an elevator for a floor or two – with the trackers you can see the extra steps you’re earning and feel rewarded. Also you can set alarms to get you up if you’ve been sitting for too long. Taking a few minutes to get up from the desk and stretch has actually been shown to improve focus and productivity.
Drink More Water
Of course drinking water is healthy in and of itself, but it can also be a great motivator for getting up. Drink water from a small cup, so you’ll have to re-fill it more often. The more you drink, the more you’re going to need to use the restroom. When you do, why not go to one that’s on a different floor or a bit further away than the usual? You’ll be hydrated and active – it’s a double dose of health.
Take Your Calls to Go
If you’re going to be on your phone anyway, you might as well make it healthier. Get into the habit of moving while on the phone, preferably with hands-free gear, so you can move more briskly. Even if you’re taking the call at your desk, you can stand up and stretch while talking.
Walking and texting may not always be the safest option depending on your surroundings, but you don’t have to stand still while you’re doing it. Calf raises, leg stretches, and even shifting your weight from foot to foot increases the calories you’re burning and the flow of blood to your muscles. There are dictation apps you can get as well, so that you can make walks even more productive.
Whatever you do, try to find a way to stand up more often. Sitting puts your body into rest mode and your energy levels drop, making it harder to find motivation and focus, not to mention increasing your risk of health problems. The best thing you can do for your health right now to get up and get moving.