We keep hearing about how crucial it is to lead an active lifestyle, but can it be compatible with a job or an activity that requires remaining still on your seat for hours? Yes, it is. It’s not so much about how long you sit, but rather how often you move. You can sit, as long as you don’t sit static in one posture.
The key is to go from sitting to standing and vice versa regularly.
– Get up every thirty minutes or do micro-movements throughout the day.
Getting up, even just for a minute, to improve your circulation, increase the blood flow, and avoid stiffness is a good habit to start taking. Sometimes when you’re concentrating, standing up every 30 minutes might be hindering as it takes a certain amount of time to get back into a focused state. In those cases, micro-movements – from moving your neck, arms, legs, back – will do the job. A micro-movement is a movement nonetheless.
– Change your seating position
Reclining your legs and torso to form a 135-degree angle is considered the most ergonomic position for the body. If you’re working from home, that is not a problem, but you’d have to ensure that a more « relaxed » position is allowed in your office.
– Invest in adapted furniture and/or accessories
Standing desks are a possibility – only if you use them correctly. Standing too long
can compress the spine, thus increasing back problems and affect the venous circulation. Another option is the deskcycle, a brilliant tool to turn sitting time into active time while remaining focused on your work, unlike standing desks, it fits under the table. Smooth pedal motion is healthy for your joints and blood circulation. You can adapt the speed to your need, it doesn’t make any sounds, so no risk of bothering your co-workers.
– Listen to your body
It might be a bit corny, but the body knows when it needs a break. Sometimes there’s no point in automatically getting up every 30 minutes, if you’re feeling particularly tense before that time, then don’t wait. The body is not meant to remain static, it needs to move. The main issue is that we get so distracted or caught up in what we’re doing, that we don’t get to listen to our body and its signals.
– Keep calm and enjoy life.
At the end, it all comes down to moderation. Don’t obsess about the number of steps you need to take every day. Breathe, smile, create an interactive and positive environment where you get up to make a photocopy, a phone call, or have a quick chat with your co-workers. And naturally, your body will keep moving.
Green hunter, wellness junkie and pun maker on the website, I'm on a journey towards a kinder and healthier life. @lizthegreenspirit on Instagram.