It has been established that too much sitting is detrimental to your health. It is also quite apparent that an hour a day of exercise — and most people don’t get anywhere near that much — can’t make up for sitting all day in the office plus a few hours commuting, watching TV and the other sedentary activities we indulge in. So what can we do, short of quitting our jobs and moving to the country, if we really want to rescue our health?
The answer is that we need to find things to do at work to keep us on our feet more. For those with a desk-based job, there are a few possibilities, such as: get up and stretch, get a cup of coffee or a glass of water, go to the washroom more often because of the previous activity, stand up when talking on the phone or even when consulting in person with colleagues. For some of us, we really are desk bound by our tasks and may only be able to get a half hour of respite from these activities in a day, without attracting unwanted attention from our superiors. Others may manage a bit more legitimate standing time, but will probably still be limited to a maximum of an hour or so per day. This just isn’t enough to overcome the negative effects of sitting too much.
A report on WebMD by HealthDay reporter Mary Elizabeth Dallas suggests “at least 2 hours a day standing on the job,” and goes on to suggest four hours a day would be ideal. The report can be found here at http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/20150602/office-workers-on-your-feet. The article is quite brief and is worth a quick review due to some of its other recommendations.
Of course, you might also consider a more active lifestyle away from the office. You can walk your dog; if you don’t have a dog, offer to walk your neighbour’s dog. Take a long walk with a friend — maybe the friend you would otherwise be talking to on the phone or on Facebook.
Even after considering all these other possibilities, we still have to deal with the fact that we spend too much time sitting during our regular work day — and we probably can’t avoid sitting while we commute to and from work. Therefore, the solution still has to be to get off our seat and onto our feet while we are in the office. For this, the solution is a standing desk or a sit-stand desk or a treadmill desk.