Do you think you sit too much in your job or daily routine? You’re not alone. From sedentary computer jobs to our roles as chauffeur moms and dads, many of us sit way more than we like. Sitting can have bad health effects, as you’ve likely heard. Too much sitting can lead to higher rates of chronic diseases like diabetes and even an earlier death.
Plus, remember those standing desks that became trendy a couple of years ago that were designed to combat too much sitting? A recent study published in Ergonomics found that even people using those continuously were at a higher risk for health problems. Turns out, the real key—whether you’re sitting or standing still a lot—is more frequent movement. The general recommendation is to work in a few minutes of movement every 30 minutes or an hour.
That’s why the American Diabetes Association started Get Fit, Don’t Sit Day, taking place on May 2 this year. National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day is sponsored nationally by NRG Energy, Inc. & Freeze Tag, Inc.
“While getting regular exercise is incredibly important for overall health and diabetes management, we use this day to remind Americans to stand up and stretch or walk every half hour,” a media advisory from the American Diabetes Association reports.
Want to find more ways to sneak in movement throughout your day? Here are several suggestions from the American Diabetes Association and other sources:
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up every 30 minutes. Take a few minutes to stand, walk or stretch.
- Park further away from your errand destinations to work in more steps.
- Move around while sitting at your desk—try raising your legs and arms several times.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Conduct walking meetings with
- Take 10-minute brisk walks after each meal. The generally recommended fitness goal is at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day. With a walk after each meal, you’ve worked in those 30 minutes.
- Walk in place while watching your favorite show.
- Take a walk during your lunch break.
- Walk or bike ride to nearby destinations when you can.
- Use your movement breaks to perform leg extensions or overhead arm stretches.
- Take movement breaks with a friend.
- In addition to regular movement throughout the day, plan a regular routine for physical activity. The best exercise routine is one you enjoy. So, try different things, including walking, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming, and more, until you zero in on what you enjoy (with your doctor’s permission, of course). Change things up from time to time to keep things challenging.
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