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How to Sit Less, Stand More

Even if you exercise an hour a day, what are you doing during the remaining 23 hours? My guess is…a lot of sitting. The key for energy, health, and productivity is to sit less and stand more.

Why Sit Less?

There are plenty of benefits of sitting less - and standing (or moving) more. Here are some:

1. Reduced health risks

Research indicates the more you sit the greater your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and death from all causes. Ya, even if you’re exercising for some part of the day. Of course, the outcomes were more pronounced at lower levels of physical activity than at higher levels.

Conversely, standing more can lower your health risk.

2. Better weight control

And, if you’re watching your weight, consider this. A 150 pound person burns 100 calories an hour sitting, but 135 calories standing. It may not sound like much but just standing an extra 20 minutes a day will lead to a 1 pound weight loss over the year. Could you get up and move even more than 20 minutes?

3. Enhanced energy

But, sitting all day doesn’t just affect your health and weight, it can zap your energy! We don’t think twice about resting between sets of resistance exercise or after an hour of running? Realize that your brain is like a muscle and needs a break to recharge too.

4. Improved productivity
Standing more might even improve your productivity. Or at least give you some relief from an achy back. Research from Texas A&M (my alma mater for my doctorate) found that call center workers were 46% more productive when they were able to sit or stand (they had @SteelCase adjustable desks). In addition, nearly 75% percent of those working at stand-capable workstations experienced decreased body discomfort.

How to Sit Less

  • Set a timer to stand up and move every hour or so. Even if it’s just a few minutes.

  • Drink more water.  You’ll need to make more runs to the bathroom.

  • Use a pedometer to track your steps. Aim for 10,000 steps a day

  • Walk to a colleague’s desk instead of sending them an email.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • Use a standing desk. You could test out standing more by simply placing a box on top of your desk. Ikea has a fairly inexpensive desk that you can lower and raise with a button. My husband likes his. I had one custom-built by the carpenter who was doing some renovations at the house. It consists of a double door cabinet with a drawer on top – with legs that raised the “desk” to the proper height.

  • Try a wobble board. I find standing to be almost as boring as sitting. Standing on the wobble board* makes my conference calls more fun.

  • Fidget more. Yes, do more of what our kids do…fidget more. Personally I like to practice my tap steps waiting in line at the grocery store. Ya, seriously!

How do you prompt yourself to move more during the day? Sent me an email - DrJo at DrJo. 

*Some links are affiliate links – meaning that if you click through and purchase, I will receive a small payment in return. Thanks for your support.


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