Top tips to reduce sedentary behaviour

seated exerciseWhen attempting to reduce the proportion of the day you spend sitting, it helps to have an estimate of what that is. Get Britain Standing has a sitting calculator which is a great place to start.

How much time sitting is too much? As of yet research has not provided a specific time frame as the figure would likely be influenced by individual factors such as age, health and current activity level. However, as general rule try not to remain seated for longer than 90 consecutive minutes. This may sound easier said than done, especially in an office environment so here are some helpful tips:

Active travel – incorporate light physical activity in your journey to work:

  • Cycle, walk or run to work if local.
  • Tax free bikes are available via cycle to work schemes.
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier & walk the rest of the journey.
  • Take the stairs at stations or walk up escalators.
  • Stand on the bus, train or tube.

Active working – incorporate light physical activity into your work tasks.

  • Stair climbing burns more calories than jogging or rowing (Teh and Aziz., 2002) and there is potential for more stair use throughout the working day. Climb the stairs to go in-between floors rather than waiting for the lift (often the quicker option), take the stairs in the morning or to and from your lunch break (Going down the stairs is still better than taking the lift).
  • Leave your desk for lunch (eat out, take packed lunch offsite or to a different floor)
  • Have standing or walking meetings where appropriate.
  • Stand at the back during presentations
  • Use standing desks such as this one. Or even create your own like this.
  • Leave your desk once every hour e.g. get a drink of water or print out documents
  • Stand or walk whilst on the phone.
  • Walk to a co-workers desk for a quick conversation rather than emailing/calling.
  • Perform seated exercise or stretches
  • Move your waste bin so you have to get up to use it.

Although the focus is on active in the workplace if you don’t already partake in much activity, pre/post work exercise is still good for you to start:

  • Lunchtime or post work exercise classes: exercise classes sometimes offer discounted rates during the lunch period for local company’s employees.
  • Lunchtime or post work team sports: gather li8ke minded colleagues for walks, runs, 5 a side football, rounders/cricket etc. around work hours.

Hopefully these suggestions are enough to get you moving more throughout the day, leading you away from a sedentary lifetsyle. Feel free to share ideas in the comments.

 

Top tips to help you move more in 2015

2015It’s that time where the mince pies and joyous feasting of yesteryear (2014 was weeks ago!) might be playing on our minds (or our waistbands). With determination and self control to rival Tibetan monks many of us decide to embark on one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions worldwide: be more active and/or eat well.

Whether you’re doing it for improved overall health, to tone up, or to lose weight you aren’t alone and it’s no easy feat. To help make sure your resolutions don’t fall by the wayside we’ve listed some failsafe tips below.

1) BE REALISTIC.

– Its unlikely you’ll lose 10 pounds, completely cut out sugar, run a marathon and master a new sport alongside your current day to day life in two months. Get real about your goals – no fad diets or gruelling daily workouts when you previously avoided exercise like the plague. Instead become a healthier you by eating healthily and being physically active at a level that suits you.

2) DEFINE YOUR GOALS.

– To really achieve your goals they need to be specific. Know what you want and focus on the positive. Also break down your goals into manageable chunks. By being specific it’s easier to review how well you’re progressing with your goal.

3) TALK ABOUT IT.

– Once you’ve decided on your goals, tell people about it! It’s easy to break promises that only you know about, so by sharing your resolutions with friends, family or colleagues you are more likely to stick to them. You can then get people around you to remind you on a regular basis why you want to achieve your goal and what you need to do to get there and lean on them for motivation.

4) REWARD YOURSELF.

– We know goals are rarely achieved in one go, so break them down into smaller milestones and reward yourself along the way (not with a takeaway, mind.) Celebrate your success with treats that don’t contradict your resolutions but contribute to them. E.g. A pricier cut of meat for dinner, a new item of sportswear or booking a massage. Treat yourself healthy!

5) HAVE FUN!

– This is the most important tip, ENJOY YOURSELF. You’ll never stick to a healthy eating plan or get physically active if it’s boring or unrealistically difficult. Rather than just eating lettuce, healthy eating can be tasty and filling if you take the time to find meals you like. And if you hated running all your life, don’t do it! Maybe you love swimming, football or Zumba instead.

Finally don’t beat yourself up if you have a slip up, mistakes do happen and rather than drag yourself down, just look to the following day to start afresh.

Good luck