Our lifestyles have changed significantly in recent years, with many of us spending extended periods sitting down, both at work and home. Unfortunately, this inactivity, also known as sedentary behaviour, can have serious health consequences. In fact, it is now the fourth leading risk factor for death worldwide.
Researchers first noticed something was amiss in a study that compared the health of transit drivers who sat most of the day and conductors who mostly stood. Although both groups had similar diets and lifestyles, the drivers were approximately twice as likely to develop heart disease as the conductors. This discovery highlighted the impact of sitting down too long on our health.
Prolonged sitting can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It can also lead to weight gain and obesity. That’s why it’s essential to move regularly throughout the day.
Here are some ‘sit less’ tips to help you incorporate more movement into your daily routine:
- Take regular breaks from screens at home or work.
- Stand instead of sitting when you travel.
- Stand up at work; walk over to colleagues instead of sending them an email, or ask for a standing desk or have a standing/walking meeting.
- Plan active time when you’re often sitting; go for a walk after breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or cook a healthy meal from scratch while standing.
- Set time limits on sitting down; limit television to an hour in the evening or have a one-hour technology break each evening and do something more active.
Incorporating more movement into your daily routine is essential for maintaining good health. By following these simple tips, you can reduce your risk of chronic diseases and improve your overall well-being.