When 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.