4 Steps to Offset the Damage of Sitting

These are some simple daily steps to offset the damage of sitting for too long.

1. Sit Less

Replace at least one hour of sitting a day with active breaks. A 5-minute walking break doesn’t seem like it would make much difference, but it really does. The same way that long hours at a desk make you less healthy, 5 minutes of activity add up and make you healthier. If you think of a 5-minute break every hour spread over the 16 hours you’re awake, you’ll see that it makes up quite a bit of activity. A study in the European Heart Journal found that active breaks are linked to a lower body mass index (BMI), less body fat, higher good HDL cholesterol, and a thinner waist. An easy way to keep active is to set an alert every hour on your mobile phone then track it using Fitlink to see your stats later in the day.

Man typing on computer.

2 Move More

Exercise! Remember that you should get at least 150 minutes per week, but preferably increase it to an hour a day if you can. 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity is a very great way to offset the danger of too much sitting. If that is too much, then break it up. Perhaps go for a run early in the morning, replacing your commute to work with exercise. Then do a 10 minute HIIT session later.

3 Focus On Your Posture 

Remember to sit up straight when you’re sitting at your laptop. Use your muscles for support. Your lumbar spine should be slightly arched. Look ahead and try to move your monitor to eye level if you can, and don’t lean in. Hold your shoulders back and down. This is important because over time sitting can cause a lot of troubling back pain.

4 Loosen Your Hips

Your hip flexors will get too tight if you sit too long and if you sit incorrectly. Everything is connected, so tight hip flexors actually decrease activity in your abs and glutes. An easy exercise you can do, perhaps in an active break, is to lie on your stomach and place a foam roller underneath, bend one leg and move it from side to side in the upper quadricep area. See our easy  foam roller session for home workers. 

Every movement helps. Keep it up 🙂