By Clare Harland
We all know we need to be more active, but there is increasing evidence that we also need to spend less time sitting down.
Sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.
Many adults in the UK spend more than seven hours a day sitting or lying, and this typically increases with age to 10 hours or more.
This includes sitting at work, in meetings, on the computer, in front of the TV, in a café, reading or travelling in a car, bus or train.
It’s recommended that we should try and reduce sitting time and take an active break from sitting every 30 minutes.
Make a habit of being on the move
Here’s some ideas on how to reduce sedentary behaviour:
- Use the stairs instead of the lift
- Stand up when you’re on the phone and shift your weight from one leg to another.
- If you’re using a mobile, take a walk
- Take your lunch break outside or in another location instead of sitting and eating at your desk.
- Stand up while you read paperwork
- If you need to sit down, jiggle and fidget
- Move the rubbish bin away from your desk so you have to get up to use it
- Use the speakerphone for conference calls, and walk around the room during the conference.
- Ask your colleagues for a ‘walk and talk’ meeting rather than a sit down meeting
- If you have to have a sit down meeting, make it ‘standing friendly’
- Do things in person – get up & go and speak to someone rather than emailing or phoning
- Offer to make the drinks round so you can get up & walk to the kitchen