Sitting all day in a sedentary job can be harmful to your health
We all know that being a couch potato is not the healthiest lifestyle, but did you also know that sitting at work or school for prolonged periods every day can also be bad for you? Bodies need to move! Being too sedentary can contribute to health problems such as high cholesterol, excess body fat, high blood pressure, and obesity.
As you probably already know, a healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise, good eating habits, and adequate sleep. But even if you are doing all of this, you still might find that you have too many periods where you are sedentary (inactive). What are the remedies to a sedentary lifestyle? The answer is simple: Keep moving! Even small movements throughout the day can help to keep your system running. Here are some fun suggestions to keep movement in your life:
- Get a jump rope and use it during commercial breaks.
- Meeting a friend for a drink? Go out dancing instead.
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
- Sign up for a walk-a-thon.
- Do calf raises while waiting in line (going from flat foot to tip toes).
- Take the farthest space in the parking lot.
- Do 20 stomach crunches before bed every night.
- Have a walking or standing meeting instead of sitting.
- Bike or walk to school or work if you can.
- Play with your kids (if you have kids!).
- If you like video games, do an active sports game or dance game instead of sitting down.
- Try balancing exercises while brushing your teeth.
- Turn your social activities into active get-togethers, like going for a walk or hike with a friend.
- Every time you use your cell phone, make yourself stand up instead of sitting down.
- If you’re stuck sitting for too long, try isometrics. Simply flex and unflex your leg muscles or stomach muscles while sitting.
- Get a set of hand-held dumbbells and use them while you’re watching TV.
- Find a park you’ve never been to before and take a hike.
- Get a fitness app and start tracking your activity.
- Challenge your friends to get fit and do an obstacle run or a 5K.
- Set a timer and make sure you get up every 30 minutes to at least stretch or stand up.
- Learn to do pushups. Try to achieve 1 additional pushup each week.
- Do more housework.
- Stretch every morning for 5 minutes before getting in the shower.
- Sweep the sidewalk—your own and your neighbor’s.
- Keep on moving. Even if it’s just wiggling your feet or stretching your arms, it’s good to keep your body in motion.
While these 25 activities are not intended to get you into tip-top shape (you need a full exercise routine for that), they will help you avoid some of the pitfalls of a sedentary lifestyle. And hopefully they will also bring a little fun into your day too! So why wait? Get moving now!
This article is part of the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health’s weekly blog, providing students with free job advice, health tips, and student resources. Learn more about our nursing school by contacting us online.