A Vanderbilt University study estimated that the average American spends 55% of waking time (7.7 hours per day) in sedentary behaviors such as sitting. We sit in our cars driving to work, sit at our desks, sit driving home, sit to eat meals and then spend the rest of the day sitting in front of the TV.
Research shows that sitting for long hours is linked to poor mental health, a higher risk of death from heart disease and a higher risk of being disabled. And new studies suggest that too much sitting is bad, even if you exercise regularly. More research will be done but what we do know is that standing a little more each day tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow, ramps up metabolism and burns extra calories. It can also lead to a more active lifestyle.
So stand up and start thinking about what you can do to stop sitting so much.
Ways to Stand More
- Walk more at work. Park your car farther away from your building, use stairs instead of elevators, take a longer route to the restroom or mail room.
- While computing, set a timer to remind you to stand up and stretch every half hour; use this time to clean your work area.
- Stand up when you talk on the phone.
- Toss the huge water bottle and use a smaller cup; you will need to get refills more frequently; take a longer route to the water cooler.
- Don’t send emails if the recipient is near; walk over and talk to him or her.
- Avoid long sitting commutes by standing on the bus, subway or train.
- When watching TV, lose the remote and get up to change the channels.
- Stand or exercise while you watch TV, or just stand and move around during pesky commercial breaks.
- During intense gaming, stand up in between sessions and screen loads.