5 ways to spend less time sitting down

Research has shown that people who spend long periods of time sitting down have higher rates of heart and circulatory diseases, as well as diabetes. Follow our five top tips to help keep you moving throughout the day.

1. Try to take regular breaks from looking at a screen

Elderly couple using at a laptop computer  

If watching television, get up in every ad break. At work, walk away from your computer screen at regular intervals – maybe you could grab some water, have a walk around the block, or catch up with a colleague? If you find it difficult to remember to take breaks, consider setting a reminder on your phone, or leaving a post-it on your screen at eye level.

2. Stand instead of sitting when you can

A male working at a standing desk

Try it for short periods while watching television, in meetings, at your desk or while on the phone. More and more companies are also introducing standing desks into offices. According to research, these desks could help to reduce tiredness and boost workers’ productivity, so it may be worth talking to your HR department if you feel you would benefit from this.

3. Stand up at work

Colleagues walking and talking through the office with hot drinks

Get creative with your day - walk over to colleagues instead of emailing or phoning them, offer to make a round of tea, and take the stairs instead of the lift. If the weather’s playing ball, think about stepping away from the office and scheduling some walking meetings with your colleagues. Not only will this give you the opportunity to get some fresh air, but you’ll be able to stretch your legs, help boost your circulation and beat the afternoon slump.

4. Plan in some active time when you are usually sedentary

A woman crossing a road at a zebra crossing

For example, in the evenings, consider an exercise class, going for a walk or cooking a healthy meal from scratch, instead of heating a ready meal. You could even incorporate active time into your commute, walking part of the journey before you hop on the bus or catch a lift home.

5. Set time limits on sedentary behaviour

A couple sitting down on the sofa watching TV and looking at a laptop

It might be that you limit television to an hour in the evening or that you ban yourself from reading emails or using the internet for a certain period in the day. If you have a family, it’s great for everyone to follow these limits.

 

 

More useful information