Myth: An ergonomic chair will change everything.
Truth: It’s the sitting, not the chair.
Myth: Exercising before and after work counteracts the effects of sitting all day.
Truth: Sitting is an independent risk factor for heart disease (according to Peter Katzmarzyk, a lead researcher at Pennington Biomedical Research Center).
Myth: Sit up straight (like your mother told you).
Truth: Sitting at a semi-recline 135 degree angle is best for you.
I can give you the facts, straighten out the myths, but if you don’t act, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.
5 STEPS FOR LASTING CHANGE
- Read (or reread) yesterday’s article 5 Little Known Facts About Sitting That Could Kill You.
- Write down or type the points that stand out to you… that will move you to act.
- Print them out and post them in plain view… on your computer, in front of it, somewhere obvious.
- Set a reminder or alarm on your calendar at the beginning of every workday to remind you to read the list.
- When you see the alarm, read the list, and decide what you’re going to do that day to make a change.
ALTERNATIVES TO SITTING
- Get a pre-made standing desk. (Web designer Nick Haskins found his at Ikea.)
- Make your own standing desk. (Photographer Gary Chapman made his out of plastic milk crates.)
- Set up a treadmill running desk. (Perfect use for that treadmill sitting unused in your garage!)
- Replace your chair with a stability ball. (Side effect: works your core and back muscles.)
- Do your work at Starbucks, Barnes & Noble or other location with tall tables.
HOW TO GET ACTIVE DURING THE WORKDAY
- While standing, bounce up and down on your toes.
- Do calf raises.
- Point and flex your toes (ballerina style) to the front, side and back.
- Periodically raise your arms above your head and stretch to the ceiling.
- Take an hourly break to rebound on a trampoline for 5 minutes.
- Use a small cup for water, tea, or coffee and refill it every time it’s empty.
- If you work at home, give yourself a small house cleaning task every hour.
- Stand during phone calls or when watching videos.
Have other ideas or strategies that have worked for you? Let me know in the comments!