Believe it or not, one of the biggest health challenges we face today is sitting too much. Besides so many of us having desk jobs, just the advent of so many modern conveniences has led us to a sedentary lifestyle.
We are living in an obesity epidemic that leads to an array of health conditions that shorten lives and wrecks lifestyles. Moving less and sitting more is killing us
All related research now indicates that when we sit for longer than four hours a day, our risk of cardiovascular disease, and diabetes goes up exponentially.
To stay healthy it’s imperative that we learn how to counteract sitting all day.
However, when it comes to counteracting the deadly luxury of sitting, it’s going to take some effort.
One of the biggest challenges to a sedentary home lifestyle is the television. According to Nielsen, the average American watches more than five hours of live television every day. And that number increases as we get older. In fact, they report that past age 65, Americans watch more than seven hours a day.
That’s 35 or more hours of sitting each week and almost 50 hours a week if you’re over 65. If you could simply cut that number in half, you’d add years to your life.
So let’s take a look at how to do that – how to cut back on television and counteract sitting all day.
1.Find an active hobby.
Replace one or more hours of nightly viewing with a hobby. For example, you might take dance lessons, learn Karate, or improve your golf swing. Even painting or art classes can be taken to keep you moving and not sitting on the couch.
If you are watching television, take breaks from it. Stand up and walk around your house during commercials. Use the five minute segments to clean your home. Get up and dance or stretch and move.
3.Watch television standing up.
You don’t have to sit to watch television.
4.Choose a home project.
There are undoubtedly things that you want to change or improve around your home. Focus on those projects during the evenings and weekends instead of sitting on the couch.
Try to walk or ride your bike if possible. If it’s not, then park at the furthest end of the parking lot and walk to the stores. Choose stores that are closer to your home so you sit in the car for less time.
6.Take the stairs or walk up the escalator.
Don’t let technology move your body for you. Take control, make the effort, and take the stairs or walk up the escalator instead of standing and riding.
Go on walks or hikes whenever possible. Make it part of your weekend routine. Go for a long walk or a hike every Saturday or Sunday.
8. Get a dog.
They need exercise and you’ll have a reason to walk at least once a day. It’ll also get you to the dog park on the weekend.
9.Stand up when you talk on the phone.
Or walk, dance or march in place. Instead of lounging on the sofa while you talk on the telephone, make an effort to do something standing.
10. Don’t send email.
Call instead, and then look to #9 above and walk while you’re on the phone. Or get up from your desk and walk to the person you were going to email.
11. Let someone else have your seat.
Avoid long sitting commutes by standing on the bus, subway or train.
12. Stand up to watch TV
Get behind a chair or sofa, and stand up to watch TV.
13. Are you a gamer?
Stand up in between sessions and screen loads.
14. Stand when you fold laundry.
15. Do more household chores.
Do those household chores you’ve been putting off, instead of watching TV or playing on the computer.
16. Play with your children.
Play games that require you to stand up. Try something new, and take your children outdoors?
17. Plant a garden and tend to it.
Gardening, raking leaves, mowing the lawn are all great ways to counteract sitting instead of paying someone else to do it.
18. Pacing is good.
Pace the room while waiting at the doctor’s or dentist’s office.
19. Get a little exercise at the grocery store.
Make an extra tour around the perimeter of the grocery store before you check out.
20. Walk while you wait.
Hike around the block while your child is taking dance class or playing soccer.
21. Walk everywhere.
Try walking to the school to pick your child up and walk home, or ride your bike, together.
22. March in place while brushing your teeth.
23. Walk to the mailbox.
Don’t drive by the mailbox, but take the time to walk from the house to check the mail.
24. After dinner walks.
Make it a nightly habit to go for an after-dinner walk with the family.
25. Early for an appointment?
Walk around the block instead of adding to your time in the waiting room.
These ideas are just the beginning of what’s possible when it comes to counteracting the effects of sitting all day.
There are literally hundreds of ways you can add movement to your day. But the truth is that getting up and moving instead of sitting can actually add years to your life.