Woman sitting on bed, against headboard, reading a book.

6 Ways to Break Prolonged Sitting

In the present pandemic, we are encouraged to stay at home as much as we can for our protection.  But have you realized how much time you spend sitting down every day?

In the present pandemic, we are encouraged to stay at home as much as we can for our protection.  But have you realized how much time you spend sitting down every day? A recent study showed that there was a 32% decrease in physical activity in the US among adults.  A similar study revealed that the average daily step counts of a typical adult Briton have dropped from 8,534 to 6,169 since the lockdown began.

If you are one of those who spend most of their time sitting, watching television, or working at a computer, it's time for you to consider how to become active. A sedentary lifestyle increases the chance of getting heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, leading to premature death.

But don't worry, for it's not too late to save your health from the dangers of prolonged sitting. Remember, the lesser time spent sitting and more moving, the more likely you are to promote better health. Here are simple ways to include some physical activity in your day:

1. Stand up every 30 minutes and look for opportunities to be active

Standing up may be a simple exercise, but a great way to squeeze in physical activity into your inactive lifestyle. Setting the timer on your phone or computer helps to remind you. Take regular breaks and use the time to move around, climb stairs, or make a cup of coffee or tea.

2. Incorporate exercises into your day 

Your home is a perfect and peaceful place for you to practice yoga and Pilates, do stretching, jumping jacks and stationary jogging, and perform strength and resistance exercises. These physical activities will improve your joint range of motion, decrease your risk of injury, make you stronger, promote bone health and muscle mass, burn calories, improve mood, and benefit cardiovascular health.

3. Do household chores

Housework is a never-ending task that helps you stay active and healthy. Take it positively to get your heart pumping and burn a significant number of calories.  Playing lively music during housework helps, for it causes you to enjoy the job more encouraging more beneficial movements.

4. Prepare your meals

Cooking your food causes you to move more, burning more calories than ordering meals online or sitting in a restaurant. And also, a time for you to decide the healthy ingredients you should include in your food.  A study has indicated that a higher frequency of cooking and preparing food at home may be associated with consuming a healthier diet and benefits to health and longevity.

5. Take a walk in your neighborhood 

If it is safe for you to go outside, take this opportunity to walk in a quiet area of town. Walking is one exercise you can do to remain healthy during the lockdown. It reduces the feeling of isolation and stress that it can boost mental wellbeing. Wear a pedometer to encourage you to take more exercise. Make sure to avoid crowded places to maintain social distancing and get a good dose of vitamin D and fresh air. 

6. Invest in a stand-up desk

If you work from home or have been working from home during the pandemic, then you may want to invest in a stand-up desk. Standing burns more calories than sitting, and so who wouldn't want to burn more calories while still doing work at their desk, right? Regularly standing while you work will also help reduce back pain and boost productivity.

Finding time to be active and keeping fit can be challenging, especially during the pandemic, but doing just a few simple things throughout your day can make a real difference. Keep in mind that good health and fitness don't happen automatically. Improving your diet and getting into a habit of doing physical activity on a daily basis is key.