Healthy living starts with standing up.
You certainly wouldn’t know that from the way Americans operate. We sit on our commutes. We sit at our jobs. We sit in front of our home entertainment systems.
These behaviors must change, though, if we want to lead heart-healthy lives. Earlier this year, researchers published a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrating that sitting extensively increases the likelihood of life-threatening illnesses – even for those who work out regularly.
Take type 2 diabetes, for instance: when people sit for eight or more hours daily, their risk shoots up 90%. Overall, the World Health Organization lists sedentary behavior as the fourth most common contributing cause of death worldwide.
Chiropractor Dr. Tamara Berger noted that she has to sit down for a portion of her workday. However, she has a number of tactics to get herself up and moving frequently.
Here are her office workout ideas:
Brushing & squatting
Every time you brush your teeth, it takes about two minutes. During that time, Berger does squats, completing as many as 60 of them.
Walk-arounds and desk workouts
Every hour or hour and a half, Berger gets up and does one or two of these routines (which she usually completes in two or three minutes) so that healthy living is built into her day:
· 20 push-ups (just dropping down without changing clothes)
· 20 lunges on each leg
· 30-60 seconds of plank or side plank
· 60 seconds of high knees
· One stroll through the building.
Cardio or strengthening exercises
Berger also gets in half an hour per day of cardio or weights.
“I have a small amount of space to do this in my office,” she said. “I have also been known to go outside and do some exercises on the grass.”
Skipping the elevator
As general practice, Berger now uses staircases and walks whenever possible to keep her heart healthy. One way to integrate more walking into your day is to simply park farther away from your office building, stores, etc.
Meeting on the move
When Berger meets with her colleagues, typically they do so while walking.
Standing to compute
You don’t have to buy a standing desk in order to stay upright while using your PC.
“When on the computer outside of work I have a rule that I have to use my laptop while standing,” Berger explained. “I have a laptop that I simply prop up on a higher counter so that I can use it comfortably while standing.”
Since sitting and other simple activities are so critical to health, we all probably could use changes to our daily routines, as suggested above.
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