It’s official: sitting too much is deadly. In study after study, scientists have found that sitting can potentially be even more deadly than smoking, especially if you’re already overweight. And to make matters worse, even an hour of exercise every single day won’t combat the health risks of sitting. Most of us, especially those of us who work in offices, feel like we don’t have much of a choice. Should we quit our sedentary jobs aThe movement in a field? As it turns out, we might not have to do anything drastic to beat death (or at least the kind caused by sitting).
It’s not easy to be active anymore. The movement used to be a requirement for eating or having a warm, safe home. These days, unless you work in construction or another hard labor field, it takes more effort just to find opportunities to move around! Our work has become primarily mental work, which isn’t great news for our bodies. Humans were meant to be in motion, not staring blearily at emails and Word documents all day. It can drain our spirit as much as our bodies.
To avoid chair-related mortality, consider ditching chairs, either some of the time or all together. Not only is it healthier, but a lot of the alternatives are really, really fun. Here are some of the best ways to stick it to the chair:
Stack your keyboard and computer monitor on top of some dictionaries for a standing desk.
Replace your chair with an exercise ball or kneeling chair.
Bounce your legs at your desk.
Stand up and stretch every fifteen minutes. Bonus: do squats or jumping jacks, if you can get away with it.
Have standing meetings. Not only will you beat the evil chair, but meetings will probably also be faster and more productive with fewer hurt feelings. But, you know, if you just love long, tension-filled meetings that drag on for hours…
Use a pedal exerciser under your desk.
Find excuses to leave your desk. Hit up the water cooler. Walk over to someone’s office instead of calling or emailing. Walk during your lunch break, even if you only get fifteen minutes. Print things one at a time, if you have to.
Hula hoop or use a pedal exerciser while watching TV. Or better yet, ditch TV most nights and do something fun.
Quit your job and work in a field. But only if you want to.
As this issue gains more and more attention, it’s likely we’ll see people and workplaces moving to chair-free spaces. Why not get ahead of the crowd so you can claim they all stole your idea later on? Depending on your workplace, you may even be able to get your company to pay for some of these ideas. Even if not, they’re not prohibitively expensive.
Did you ditch the chairs at work? If so, have you noticed a difference in your weight, fitness level, or mood since making the change? Are you less resentful about being chained to a computer all day? Let us know!