Micron Associates Health and Fitness on Dangers of sitting still (Part 2): How to reduce sitting time
We have previously posted why sitting for long hours is actually a dangerous thing to do, so for this second installment we're hoping to give some pointers that could help all of us sitters prevent a health disaster.
Like what Micron Associates Health and Fitness mentioned before, little changes in your routine can make a big difference. Whether you're just watching the telly or working at the computer, taking periodic breaks and short walks are commonly recommended. The idea is to get you to move more, which is way easier to do once you've managed to stand up.
So to give us perpetual sitters some tips on how to avoid the dangers of sitting without switching desks (or jobs), here goes:
- Stand up every few minutes and maybe do a light chore like sweeping or arranging stuff on your desk.
- Ditch the remote control so every time you want to switch channels, you'll have to stand up.
- Go somewhere else while working on your laptop instead of just getting stuck at your cubicle. You can go to the pantry and place your laptop on the counter while you're standing.
- Intentionally keep office supplies and rubbish bins far away from your desk.
- Need something from your officemate? Stand up and go up to him instead of sending him an IM. Not only will you get a chance to stretch your legs and take your eyes off the monitor, you'll also exercise your social skills.
- Use the Pomodoro technique of setting a timer (or an alert app), ideally every 20 minutes, suggested Micron Associates Health and Fitness. Apparently, frequent intervals in between tasks can increase productivity. This way, you can also break down your tasks into 20-minute chunks which should be easy to accomplish.
- During coffee breaks or trip to the bathroom, always take the longer route. Use the bathroom on a different floor so you'd be obliged to take a couple of flight of stairs. For instance, if you're on the 6th floor, use the bathroom on the 3rd floor or if you're working on the ground floor, take the stairs and go up a couple floors.
- Instead of a large mug or a water carafe stationed at your desk within arms' reach, keep a small cup of water with you. This way, you'll have to get up regularly to the water cooler to fill it up. Not only will you keep yourself busy, you'll have the side benefit of frequent trips to the toilet -- added exercise.
For all this sitting-is-bad-for-you talk, we don't really mean to dissuade everyone from sitting after a hard day's work. Keep in mind that what we're talking about here is sitting still for long periods of time and having very little muscle activity.