Tips to avoid a sedentary lifestyle

Regular workouts boost your wellbeing, but sitting for too long each day could be counteracting the benefits.

Senior Ecologist Danny Brock

Experts agree that even if you regularly work out and meet the recommended physical exercise guidelines, if you spend most of the day sitting, it’s still possible to be considered sedentary.

Research indicates that the average person spends a shocking nine hours each day slouched in front of a screen.

In a 12-year Canadian study, adults who spent most of their time sitting were 50 per cent more likely to die during the follow-up period than those who sat the least – even accounting for age, exercise, and smoking.

It’s not all bad news, though, and the solution is simple – break up periods of sedentary time by looking for opportunities to get on your feet. Even small changes can make a big difference:

  • Live close to work? Leave the car at home and walk or cycle instead. If the distance seems daunting at 8am, catch the bus or train, get off one or two stops earlier and walk the rest of the way.
  • Lift? Take the stairs instead. If walking up six flights is a big ask, walk up three and then hop in the lift.
  • Meeting friends? Leave the car at home – you’ll be doing your health and the environment a big favour.
  • No ads? In this age of video streaming, the old advice of doing a few burpees in the ad break is mostly defunct. The solution? Make your smartphone work for you by setting the timer for 30 minutes and get moving.

Article sourced from WellatWork™ Newsletter, a Healthworks publication.