Whether we’re reading or writing or working in an office, most of us spend way too much time sitting. And the latest research on what that does to our health is downright scary—from back pain to obesity and even the increased risk of life threatening illnesses.
The good news is that making ourselves get up and move can change the picture.
Having spent my early adult life as a professional dancer, I already have trouble sitting for too long. But being a writer and editor and loving to read for pleasure in my spare time, that’s what I do for most of my days.
Here are some tips for staying fit and counteracting the negative effects of prolonged sitting that have helped me.
Set a timer. I try to get up every fifteen minutes.
Move your arms and legs when you get up. Maybe play one of your favorite tunes and dance, or if you’re at work, go to the ladies’ room and march in place for a full minute. So what if a co-worker comes in and thinks you’re a bit odd.
Sitting for so long often means our butt muscles lose tone. A good exercise for that is to get down on hands and knees and lift your leg behind you. I recommend at least two sets of ten on each leg. And if you want to get your stomach muscles involved, reach out the opposite arm as you lift the leg.
So how do you keep yourself fit when you have to sit?