If you also find yourself sitting behind a desk or lying on your couch most of the time; then you’re not alone. Thanks to the technological advances and our modern lifestyles, we all have unknowingly become victims of a sedentary lifestyle.
A sedentary behaviour involves any time a person is sitting or lying down (i.e.: watching TV, using the phone, driving a car, reading etc). An accumulation of sedentary behaviour, particularly for six hours or more, throughout the course of the day and not indulging in any physical activity can contribute to a sedentary lifestyle.
Sedentary behaviour is becoming more widespread in metro areas with the advancement in technology and the increase in corporate culture
A sedentary lifestyle comes with it’s own share of risks.
In fact, sedentary lifestyle has become one of the biggest health issues of the present generation. Long periods of inactivity can hamper metabolism and weaken the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure levels, and break down fat. It is also linked to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and even feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression and chronic stress.
Well, where there’s a will, there’s a way. We’ve rounded up some really powerful tips to help you combat the sedentary lifestyle effectively and become dynamic once more! Read on to find out more.
How to avoid sedentary lifestyle at work?
Take short breaks at work
If your job requires you to sit for long hours, then make it a point to stand at least after every 30 minutes. Take a short break every once in a while to get yourself off of your chairs. You can go for a brisk walk with your colleagues during lunch time.
You can also opt for walking meetings which are becoming increasingly popular today. This would not only keep your brain engaged, but would also keep your legs moving. Try scheduling your meetings walking outdoors instead of sitting in the conference room.
You could also try heading outside solo whenever you need to brainstorm or increase the inflow of creative ideas.
Ditch your regular parking spot
If possible, try parking your car at the farthest end of the parking spot. This habit would not only help you in adding those extra steps to your day but would also help you soak up the morning sun.
Climb the stairs
Climbing the stairs is considered to be a great physical exercise and is believed to burn more calories than jogging. So instead of taking the elevators. It is therefore advised to climb the stairs whenever possible to help you become less sedentary.
Choose to walk instead of emails and calls
Got some work for a fellow colleague? Cut back on emails and calls and walk over to your colleagues desk. This would not only get your body moving, but would also give you a brief break from work. If your job involves talking frequently on calls, then try pacing around and talking on calls. This would not only put your body in motion but would also help in conversing better.
Change your commute
Just like your workplace, you are physically inactive during your commute too. Whether you are driving your own vehicle or taking public transport; you are sitting the whole time.
There are two ways to curb this situation. Firstly, if your workplace is not too far, then you can opt for cycling and walking to work. It would not only keep you fit but is good for the environment too. Secondly, you can get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way if you commute by public transport.
How to combat sedentary lifestyle at home?
Engage in a leisure activity
This is probably the best tip to break off from a sedentary lifestyle. Discover an activity which you are really interested in and take some aside to practice it. It could be as simple as watering the plants or dancing or anything that puts you in motion.
The risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle could be greatly reduced by doing some simple aerobic exercises everyday. You can also do basic home workouts like squats, lunges, crunches; or you can indulge in some outdoor exercises like walking, running, cycling etc.
Be active outdoors
Instead of sitting at your couch and binging on netflix all day; choose to go out and socialize with your friends. It could be as simple as having a cup of coffee together or going for walks after dinner.
Instead of playing video games at home, go out and play outdoor sports like badminton and tennis with your friends. You can go to the gym or for an evening stroll or anything else which reduces your sitting time.
Utilise your TV time
Those boring TV commercials could really be of use to you. Instead of switching channels during the ad – breaks, get up and pace around the house. You can get some snacks, do some stretching exercises, or simply take a stroll around the house.
Deliberately taking breaks during prolonged screen time be it television, laptop or phone; would prove to be really beneficial in overcoming your sedentary lifestyle.
Plan adventurous vacations
Vacations are a fun way to come out of your sedentary. So, whenever you are planning a vacation; select those places that have a lot of adventurous activities to do.
It could be hiking, trekking, skiing, swimming or numerous other activities that lets you stay fit as well as keeps the fun quotient high. If not on a vacation; then you can make a list of the local landmarks and sightseeing places. This could be a fun activity which would also keep your fitness at bay.
Overcoming a sedentary lifestyle may be difficult but you can easily repair your sedentary habits with these simple tips listed above. While they wouldn’t create an instant change in your lifestyle; but it would really help you develop some healthy habits.
This would not only set the tone for an active and healthier lifestyle but would also keep your health conditions at bay!