If you’re like most people, you may be spending much of your days sitting at a desk or most evenings sitting on your couch. A recent study estimates that American adults are now spending an average of 6.5 hours each day sitting.
Rest is important, but too much rest isn’t good. Research shows that the more time a person spends sitting, the higher their risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and even an earlier death.
Here are a few ways you can minimize the amount of time you spend sitting each day:
- Take a break from sitting every 30 minutes.
Actions such as getting up to get a glass of water, taking out the trash, doing squats or even doing simple stretches can provide benefits. Breaks are also important on long car and airplane rides. You can set an alarm for yourself to remind you to get up and move around.
- Stand up during routine tasks.
Stand up and move around during your favorite television show, or take a walk while you’re on the phone.
- Try a standing desk.
If you sit at a desk at work or at home, consider switching to one that allows you to change between standing and sitting. You can even improvise with a counter or high table. Another option is a treadmill desk, which adds in physical activity.
- Invest in a fitness monitor.
Fitness devices can alert you when you’ve spent too much time without moving or standing. By setting a daily step count goal, you can also motivate yourself to get up and move.
- Take your meetings on the go.
Whether you’re chatting with co-workers or meeting friends for coffee, suggest taking a walk while you talk and spend time together.