We have some pretty startling news, but trust us, you aren’t going to want to sit down for this. Studies have shown that for every two hours of sitting at work, your risk of obesity increases 5%, and your risk of diabetes increases 7%. That’s major!
How could sitting contribute to such serious health issues?
For starters, we are sitting too long. Think about it- we live in a very sitting-centered society. A typical day might go something like this: wake up, and drive to work (sitting), work at desk in the office (more sitting), come home and watch television (even more sitting—and we don’t even have to get up to adjust the volume, etc. eeks!) With all this sitting down, we’re hardly even moving a finger more than to control the remote control–it’s no wonder obesity and diabetes rates are climbing through the roof! And these extended periods of sitting are sending us into unhealthy territory.
Now, before you quit your day job to become a professional mountain climber, we have some good news.
Standing up every 20 minutes, for as little as one to two minutes, can actually help fight off brain fog, weight gain, and risks of diabetes and heart disease. Research shows that standing gets those major leg muscles activated, which actually releases enzymes designed to break up fat in the bloodstream. How cool is that?
Standing sure does seem to have serious perks! If something as easy as standing can help us fight disease, increase productivity, and keep extra weight at bay, we are all for it!
What are the best ways to get standing up every 20 minutes?
Kevan Lee of Buffer has a great article with some fun ideas, like playing “workstation popcorn”, where you switch from working at your desk, to the coffee shop, to the conference room. The added bonus to this bouncing around is the exercise you get walking from place to place. It all adds up to more activity during the day, which is never a bad thing.
Technology also does us a huge favor with the 20 minute challenge. There are tons of apps that encourage users to move more, which would lead to standing up often. Even a basic pedometer is a great investment in standing (and walking) more frequently. And we can tell you that all of our clients who get pedometers end up getting a lot more movement in their days! You can even get competitions going in the office to see who can sit down the least, or get the most steps in every week. Having people engage in a little friendly competition is a great motivator to get up and move.
A hydrating way to get up out of your seat at the 20 minute mark is to sip some fruit and herb infused water. Make a big pitcher and keep it in the office fridge. Every time you step away from your seat, grab yourself a glass, and enjoy the fact that you are drinking and standing for your health—and feeling the energizing effects of being properly hydrated, to boot!
To make fruit and herb infused water: Simply slice up all your fruit, add your herbs and add them to a pitcher, and muddle. Once your ingredients are slightly mashed and incorporated at the bottom of the pitcher, add water, and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate. Ta-dah! Amazing, flavorful water at your fingertips.
Some absolutely scrumptious options are:
Refresher: cucumber, strawberry, mint
Energizer: lemon, lime, orange
Relaxer: lavender, * 1 vanilla bean pod, peach (*for the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds out and add seeds to pitcher in the first step)
The possibilities are endless, so get as creative as you want and go wild with your own creations!
Remembering to get in the habit of standing up every 20 minutes—it’s essential for your health and longevity, and with a few little motivators like office competitions and anything-but-boring water, you will be popping out of your seat like it’s second nature!