Do you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk all day or most of the day? If so, you might not think it’s a big deal. In fact, you probably think that, as long as you’re eating right and getting in your exercise before or after work, prolonged sitting won’t hinder your weight loss efforts. In truth, though, it can, and it can also be dangerous even if you make the effort to be active when you’re not at work.
When you’re sitting, your body isn’t actively burning calories, meaning if you’ve eaten recently, those calories are just sitting there, more than likely turning into fat, instead of getting burned off efficiently or used for fuel.
Furthermore, when you do finally stand up after a bout of prolonged sitting, all the processes in your body, such as blood sugar regulation and calorie burning, go into overdrive and that sudden jump from “0” to “overdrive” can really do a number on your body. In fact, studies show that regular prolonged sitting can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and even type II diabetes.
Fortunately, even if you have a desk job, there are things you can do to stand more and to reduce the ill effects that too much sitting for too long has on your health and your overall well-being.
Tip #1: Stand Up!
It might sound obvious, but taking the time to simply stand up for a few minutes can do wonderful things for your health and your body. Experts recommend getting up and walking around, even if just for a few minutes, every half hour that you sit. So, if you find yourself hunched over your desk at the office, just getting up twice per hour and moving around can really get the blood flowing and protect your heart and body; it will also burn calories. You can set a timer to remind yourself to get up and get moving, and as a bonus, you’ll likely find that you’re more productive and get more done more efficiently and effectively if you take small breaks like these.
Tip #2: Make TV Time Active Time
Another time that people tend to get very sedentary is when they’re watching television. That’s not to say that you should eliminate your viewing time altogether- after all, everyone needs a little break from time to time- but it is to say that you should either limit television time, or, at the very least, make an effort to be active during your viewing time. When you watch a show, why not get up and walk, jog in place, or do some jumping jacks when the commercial comes on? Little efforts like this can burn more calories and keep your body safe.
As you can see, there are things you can do to limit sitting, so take advantage of these suggestions to fuel your weight loss and stay in good health.