Sitting for long periods of time is very detrimental to our health, yet we all do it. Desk jobs are more prominent, desks for work and studying are designed for sitting down to use, classes and seminars are all sit-down, and many recreational activities such as writing, reading, play games of any kind, and watching tv all involve sitting down. ASAP Science even did a video on the effects of sitting called Are You Sitting Too Much? and a video about ways to stop sitting so much called 9 Tips To Save Your Life. Unfortunately, most companies don’t offer desks that will rise and lower to give you the option to stand or offer a yoga ball as an alternative to a desk chair, which burns a little more calories and forces you to work on balance and posture without even realizing it, which is good for your brain.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like getting up when you should. For me, it seems like the longer I sit, the less motivation I have to get up. Even knowing that if I stand up for 5 minutes every hour I would negate the negative effects of sitting for that hour, I can’t always (or often) force myself to do so.
I have also noticed that the opposite is true. If I stand up for longer periods of time and move around, I’m less likely to sit down for too long before I’m back up and moving. At work, I have a box on top of my desk that I put documents and such on when I’m doing work that’s not on the computer such as hand sketches, hand calculations, or proof reading. When things are slow at work and I don’t have anything to do, I’ll put one of my college text books up there and skim it and work some of the problems so I don’t loose that information or I’ll read Civil Engineering magazine or Water Environment & Technology magazine. Sometimes while doing so I’ll even stand on one leg to work on balance or bounce on my toes to work my calves a little or even do squats while I hold and read my magazine.
The hardest part of starting all this is getting motivated to actually stand up. I usually don’t start this until after lunch, which means I’m sitting for a few hours straight in the morning. Even when I’m standing, sometimes I wish I had more motivation to grab that heavy book and do some overhead extensions or squat against the wall while I read. So, I proposed a game to several of my friends, and my mom, who I know wish they could just force themselves to move more, and I’d like to share the idea with all of you.
Here’s how it goes: text one of your friends with something along the lines of, “Get moving! Do _______! You go! Let me know when you’re done.” In the blank put something that’s easy to do in a small room like an office such as 15 squats, run in place for 1 minute, 30 toe raises, 20 overhead extensions with a heavy book, 30 sec wall squat, 20 sec quad stretch each leg, go for a 5 minute walk, etc. Do the challenge as soon as it’s convenient then text back “Done!” and send a challenge to someone else to keep it going!
What do you think about this game idea? Would this be something that would help you get moving when you’d normally be sitting? What are some other exercises that you could do in a small space? I’d love to read any of your own thoughts, observations, ideas, personal stories, etc. that you want to share! 🙂