Sedentary Lifestyle Got You Down? Here’s How to Get Back Up

by Brian McKay

Modern conveniences have made our lives easier, but you can’t deny that they’ve also made us sedentary. When you can clap your hands to turn your lights off, there’s no reason for you to get up from where you’re sitting on lying down. Or is there?

Sedentary Lifestyle by the Numbers

According to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, American adults spend an average of 6.5 hours a day sitting. This number goes up to eight hours for teenagers aged 12 to 19. Furthermore, half of the adults in the country spend at least an hour of their personal time on a computer. Whether they’re buying accounts for and playing League of Legends or doing some other personal things, people are spending hours on the computer outside of work.

Of course, using the computer for hours on end is only one manifestation of a sedentary lifestyle. If you work behind a desk, are constantly stuck behind the wheel during rush hour, or love to relax by planting yourself in front of the TV, you’re living a sedentary lifestyle, which can result in multiple health complications. And since these actions and situations are ingrained in your daily life, it can be difficult to change your routine.

But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Below, we have a few tips on how to sit less and move more.

1. Think before you sit

Before you plop yourself down on a chair to do (or not do) something, ask yourself: do you really need to sit for this? You might not notice, but you probably sit mindlessly all the time. Talking to someone on the phone? Sitting. Reading a book? Sitting. Attending a meeting? Sitting. All of these have alternative ways of doing them without being stationary. You can do chores while taking a call, listen to an audiobook while jogging, and do walking meetings instead.

2. Take frequent breaks

If, like plenty of people, your job requires you to sit in front of the computer from 9 to 5, you have to take it upon yourself to move. You can do this by taking breaks from sitting. Try the Pomodoro Technique or just set a timer for yourself for when you have to get up and stretch. If you’re using a laptop, consider asking for a standing work station.

3. Park farther

Walking more is the single easiest thing you can incorporate into your life to become more active. There are plenty of ways to do this, such as investing time for a walk or a jog, but you can also incorporate it in activities where you typically won’t. Parking your car somewhere farther than your building, for instance, means you’ll be forced to walk.

4. Make activities fun

Being more active doesn’t mean you have to do punishing exercises. You can have fun and still be active with the help of technology. Play Pokemon Go, which requires you to walk around your neighborhood, or play exergames (exercise + games) using action-packed games from your Wii or Xbox console.

It’s not healthy to stay in a sedentary lifestyle. Introduce the changes above to your life and find out the benefits of being more active.

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