You’re probably sitting down right now as you’re reading this, or maybe even lying down. Many people spend around eight hours each day sitting and if you who work in an office or at a desk you are probably one of them, which means you don’t stand or walk enough. One way you can spend more time on your feet is to work standing up.
Standing desks are becoming increasingly popular and one of the reasons is because of a recent study showing that they can improve concentration by at least 10 percent. Many companies, such as Google, Facebook and FF Venture Capital offer the option of a standing desk. They have noticed their employees are healthier, have a higher energy level and tend to share ideas more. One thing that will help you stand more comfortably at work and at home is an anti-fatigue mat, such as this one by Sky Solutions.
Why a Sedentary Lifestyle is Bad for You
Insufficient physical activity can be detrimental to your health in the following ways:
- You risk of colon cancer and breast cancer increases by up to 40 percent.
- Exercising helps prevent the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes.
- Getting some physical activity every day, whatever your age will help reduce your risk of dementia.
- If you are active for at least three hours per week, it can cut your risk of heart attack by 50 percent.
- Being physically active on a regular basis can reduce your risk of stroke between 50-65 percent.
- If you’re not getting enough exercise, you will quickly begin to lose muscle mass. This means simple, daily activities such as dressing and bathing will become tiring.
- If you do exercise regularly, you immune and digestive systems will be much healthier.
- Individuals who do not exercise are more likely to gain excess weight.
How to Stand, Walk and Move More
When you’re standing, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body. This can make you run out of energy faster, causing discomfort and fatigue. Anti-fatigue mats work by stimulating subtle movements in your leg muscles, which improves blood flow to the heart.
Depending on the type of job you do, standing at work can be a little awkward until you get used to it. You should start off slowly until you get used to it. Try it for just an hour or two each day for the first week then gradually extend your standing time. If you can’t do this, try to stand up and move around for at least two hours each day. Here are some other tips that can get you moving at work.
- Move around the office or outside as much as you can during break times.
- Take a brief walk before or after work. If it’s only 10-15 minutes, it will still benefit you.
- Stand when you take a phone call.
- Sit down if you need to write then stand up again after, this will strengthen your legs and help burn additional calories.
- Frequently changing your position will help you stay more alert.
- If you are able, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes
- Clean your office before you leave each evening, this will add a few more minutes to your daily activity score.
- Wear a pedometer so that you know how many steps you’re taking every day.
- Keep stretching as you work at your desk.
- Stop using the elevator and take the stairs.
- Park further away from the building, or leave the car at home and walk to the bus or train.
- If you have to attend a conference, stand at the back of the room instead of sitting.
- Get a desk with an adjustable height so you have the option to work sitting or standing.
- While you’re sitting flex your legs, feet and ankles to improve circulation.
- Eat your lunch away from your desk.
- Work on your core balance by standing on one leg for a few moments
- Start a walking club at work.
- Stretch your shoulders, arms and neck after 20 minutes of typing.
The important thing to remember is to move your body around as much as possible throughout the day. When you’re moving you’re burning more calories, you’ll feel healthier and your mood will be improved.