You likely already know that the extended periods of time where you sit in the workplace and are inactive are linked to numerous health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Sitting down for too long can also cause you to pack on unwanted weight, especially when paired with the usual workplace traps: sugary coffees and meeting room snacks and the occasional work lunch. But there’s good news.
A new study published in The Lancet found that moving for just 30 minutes a day, five days a week, could prevent one out of every 12 deaths around the world. And these 30 minutes weren’t necessarily spent in the gym.
According to the study’s parameters, even a casual half-an-hour stroll around the block during your office lunch break would help! If you want to lose more weight and be more active in the workplace, try these ideas today.
1. Cycle or Walk to Your Office
Researchers have linked cycling to work with a significant reduction in your risks of premature death. In the same study, walking to work lowered people’s risks of cardiovascular disease.
Not only that, but studies have found that cycling and “leisure-time exercise” helped people lose just as much fat as joining a gym!
2. Change How You Stand
It seems simple, but it’s profound. When at work, most people get into their office chair and maintain the same posture for hours on end. This can lead to muscle imbalances, fatigue, pain, back problems and more.
Avoid this – and see weight loss benefits – by modifying how you stand and move in your office:
- Try to stand for a couple of hours every work day.
- Ask your boss if you can use a standing workstation or sit-stand desks to break up extended periods of sedentary sitting.
- Change your posture often. Chair-based yoga and stretches can gently keep you moving.
When the University of Iowa incorporated desks in their offices that allowed workers to stay busy while standing or sitting, they found that people spent an average of one extra hour a day standing, and this led employees to burn an extra 87 calories a day.
3. Avoid the 5-Hour Mark
Once you’ve been sitting for five hours, researchers have discovered that every extra 60 minutes of sitting added a whopping 2 centimeters to your waist size. It also increased people’s risks of heart disease.
It’s easy to lose track of time, especially when you’re busy or in a meeting. Set a timer on your computer or smartphone and remind yourself to get moving every 4-5 hours, even if it’s just taking a 5-minute walk around the office or going up and down a stair of flights a few times.