At SoleFit we spend many an assessment with our clients discussing the fact that as modern day humans we have lost much of our fluency of movement, mobility, stability and strength. Much of this is linked to a mis-proportioned balance between our sedentary lifestyle and our activities (or lack thereof). We tend to travel from one place where we sit to another place to sit. By now many of us have heard or read the headline “Sitting is the new smoking” as reported here, here, and here (to name just a few!). The Daily Mirror posted these unsettling facts in their image on the perils of sitting.
Ok, so it’s bad for you…for us…for everyone. But what do we do with that information? We fight back, we reclaim our bodies (inside and out) and we stand up! Here are some quick, fast and effective measures we have tried personally and can be implemented without a huge overhaul to your office or your daily routine!
- ‘Schedule’ your work position differently throughout the day i.e. 8-10:00am stand working with laptop on a file cabinet or on a box of print paper on your desk, 10-12:00 pm sitting with 3-5 minute brisk walk to alternate floor bathroom, 12-1:00 pm vigorous lunch walk or stair climbing, 1-3:00 pm sitting at desk with all calls done standing or pacing.
- Use an app like ‘Repeat Timer’ (free) to repeat a count down of 30 minutes to signal for you to walk around the office for 3-5 minutes, or stand and do 10-20 squats, lunges, hops, or ‘lunchbag deadlifts’ etc. Try to accomplish this every hour of your work day. The repeat timer is an excellent tool to help you break up the day and continue to give you reminders to MOVE.
- Consider using a Swiss/Stability ball, a kneeling chair, or adjustable height stool to alternate your position during the day.
- Engage yourself with daily health/fitness challenges such as those that you can join and track on apps like Lift (free). Such challenges include ‘100 Squats per day’ or ‘2:00 min plank challenge’ or ‘5:00 of yoga daily’. Even for those that are totally new to exercise, it can help to motivate, challenge and keep you accountable!
- Pick one stretch for your neck, back, hips, knees and ankles and complete one of these stretches for 2-3 minutes each hour. Try taking small but frequent minutes out of your existing working hours to fit some of these tips in. It adds up quickly and can make a tremendous difference at keeping a sound working mind and body.
To delve deeper into science, tactics and guidance on reversing the damage of sedentary life check out this excellent podcast: The book The Sitting Solution is available here, check it out! Great discussion in this article about getting up after your next lunchtime at your desk.