Are you always looking for small and easy things that you can do every day to improve your health? Because today I’ve got you covered! A lot of us sit for a large part of our days: working desk jobs, while traveling in cars/trains, watching TV and lounging at home, etc. And believe it or not, lessening the amount of sitting that you do in a day can significantly improve your health.
Let’s talk about it.
On a very basic level, sitting burns less calories than standing. While I don’t think that the caloric difference is enough to make a dramatic difference in weight loss (although it will definitely help), there are many other health factors to consider as well.
For example, studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time is linked to cardiovascular diseases (including increased blood pressure and high blood sugar), diabetes, and obesity in adults. Not only that, but even if you do work out regularly and you’re in pretty good physical shape, that actually won’t counteract the negative effects of prolonged periods of sitting. Plus, if you have issues like knee pain, sitting and being sedentary might actually be worse for your knee than standing.
Standing is also better for neck, shoulder, and back pain. Most people have pretty bad posture when they’re sitting for long periods of time, which causes chronic back pain. By the way, I did a blog about how you can improve your posture, so give that a read if you need the reminder. If you can take breaks and stand from time to time, it’ll provide some very needed relief.
A simple solution to this is to do a short 5-minute walk periodically (every 30 minutes is ideal), or find a situation where you can stand while you work and alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day. Standing desks aren’t possible for everyone, so if you can, get up and do a little 5-minute walk around your apartment. And it’s important to know that even if you exercise once a day, this still applies to you!
Small changes like this aren’t hard to make, but remembering to do it can be a little difficult, especially if you’re caught up in work or feeling lazy. You can set a reminder or timer to make sure that you take periodic breaks. Also make the choice to stand when you can. If you sat at work for most of the day, stand on the train on your way home. Do what you have to–your health is a priority! Sitting less and standing up more is a good habit that you can build to improve your overall health.