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There are devastating health implications from sitting too much in a day. For instance, sitting leads to reduced metabolism, weight gain, type-2 diabetes, and obesity, among other issues. Fortunately, it only takes a few minor habit changes to get yourself on the right track! The following are several easy ideas you can implement to prevent yourself from experiencing the effects of oversitting!
Tips to Avoid Sitting Too Much!
Stand up during commercial breaks
While it's okay to watch TV once in a while, sitting for hours on end can present risks. One way to make the most of your time in front of the TV is to take advantage of the advertisements or commercial breaks to stretch.
Whenever there is a break, stand up and walk around. Stretching your legs frequently, even for a short time, will help reduce the risks of sitting for too long. To those who can manage to stand without assistance, make it a habit every time you're watching TV.
Get Up to Refill Your Water
Hydrating is crucial for health and wellness. And for older adults, there are lots of health bonuses for being well-hydrated. It improves digestion, electrolyte balance, kidney function, and nutrient transportation. But what does it have to do with prolonged sitting?
Every time you feel thirsty, odds are that the drinking water is beyond reach. Don't wait until the next time you walk into the kitchen to fill your water glass. Instead, use that empty glass as a reason to stand up and walk around! You can also set up a goal of a healthy amount of water to drink per day. And this should motivate you to stand and move frequently.
Receive Calls While Standing
While you may have a habit of placing your home phone or cell phone close to your lounging chair, avoid this. Place it further to prompt you to stand and walk every time someone calls. Placing these devices close to us encourages the bad habit of sitting too much.
Use a Standing Desk
On average, we spend over 60% of our time at work sitting down. Thankfully, there's a solution to this: using a standing desk. This will allow you to spend more time standing up, and therefore, less sitting. With a small budget, you can get an affordable standing desk. Alternatively, if you are employed, you can reach out to your employer if they can help get one for you. Whether you spend all day at a desk for work, occasionally use a desk for hobbies, or just sit down for tasks like paying the bills, everyone can benefit from more time standing while tackling these activities.
If you have to sit at a desk, consider working in some desk exercises! Check out a list of healthy desk exercises from NASA!
Wear a Fitness Tracker and Create Goals
If you like to see the data behind your health, wearing a fitness tracker will help you stay motivated. Using this device, you can set up goals you want to achieve daily or weekly. Since the focus now is on standing, consider goals that encourage less sitting during the day. Try to reach 10,000 steps or set a goal for 60 minutes of activity in a day.
Some devices can even notify you when you have been sitting too long. As a beginner, it could take some time and discipline to accommodate the new routine. But after that, you'll get used to the tracker's reminders and develop healthy standing habits.
Set an Alarm to Stand Up
While setting a standing goal can be easy, the most challenging part is acting on it and following through. Therefore, you should set an alarm to remind you it's time to stand and walk around your home.
The reminder will also help you when you're absorbed in an activity that involves sitting—for instance, watching a movie or reading a book. Try setting the alarm to ring every hour. If you're successful in getting up when the alarm rings, try making it even more frequent.
Consider Adopting a Dog
Having a dog is essential since it will force you to be active without putting extra thought into it. While it's difficult to stand and go for a walk alone, having a dog will help you with that. Since you'll be obligated to take your dog for a walk at least once a day, you'll reduce sitting.
Also, during their feeding time, which is at least twice a day, you'll have to stand up and walk around. Since dogs are playful, they're not going to throw and fetch the ball on their own. With that said, you'll have a more active lifestyle when you own a dog. Click here to learn more about whether adopting a dog in retirement is right for you and which breeds are most recommended!
There are great rewards when you spend less time during the day sitting. While seniors' lives are often sedentary, there are many easy ways to change these habits for the better!