Sitting all day and night slowly steals away our health and vitality. Follow these tips to sneak in more movement at home.
Sitting is literally killing us. (As I eat a donut, slumped over my desk.)
Just kidding. I’m snacking on some fresh fruit and typing away at my new sitting/standing desk. This marvel of engineering moves up and down to ideal sitting/standing height at the touch of a button. It wasn’t cheap, but it’s slowly straightening out my sad, crumpled back.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about sitting, and I have some thoughts to share.
Sitting is killing us
I work a desk job. If you do too, you’re used to sitting all day and washing down the bitter taste of 3:00 pm sluggishness with sweet, sweet coffee. On a typical day, I’d sit for eight or nine hours, sometimes straight. My back ached, my legs were tight, and my hips were sore. I was like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame in heels.
I exercised often, but that did little to offset the damage. Now that I’m sitting—standing, rather—o’er a golden mountain of insight, I feel a responsibility to share what I’ve learned with the masses.
Sit less, live longer
“The studies showed sedentary behavior can lead to death from cardiovascular issues and cancer as well as cause chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes. . . . Prolonged sitting, meaning sitting for eight to 12 hours or more a day, increased [the] risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 90%.”
It’s clear that sitting is terrible for us. So what’s a health-conscious homeowner to do?
1. Turn off the TV
At the end of a long day, it’s so satisfying to flop down on the couch and just zone. But watching TV for hours on end means a whole lot of extra sittin’. TV widens our behinds, turns our bones to dust, and doesn’t even add much happiness to our lives.
Instead of powering through a full season of House after dinner, take a walk around the block. You could go solo, bring your partner, or drag your kids along. Forgoing TV could easily mean one, two, or even three hours less sitting every day. Every little bit counts. For more TV-free activities, check out my previous post.
2. Cycle to freedom
If all you want to do is power-watch Netflix, sneak in some exercise at the same time. Invest in an elliptical trainer or a stationary bike and watch TV while you peddle. Some exercise machines are a tad noisy, so you may need to crank up the volume a bit.
If you can’t afford new fitness equipment, check out Craigslist for deals on something that’s lightly used. Your wallet (and waistline) will thank you.
3. Beef up your home office
Not all of us can afford to drop hundreds on a snazzy, adjustable-height desk. Luckily, many do-it-yourself options run pretty cheap. To spruce up your home office, build a standing desk of your own. Here are some resources to help you along:
- Colin Nederkoorn: Building a standing desk for $22
- Life Hacker: The Complete Guide to Choosing (or Building) the Perfect Standing Desk
- Instructables: Building an electric height-adjustable desk (This requires some knowledge of metal work, so you may want to elicit the help of a handy friend.)
How do you sneak in more movement at home? Do you turn off the TV? Do jumping jacks? Tell us about it in the comments!