It’s an unfortunate fact that, due to the ease of the online world and the capabilities of technology, there is fast becoming less and less that you need to get up for. Items can be delivered straight to your door, conversations can be had without you leaving the sofa, and many businesses switch to remote or online working, which means many long hours sat at a desk.
That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be utilising all the amazing opportunities technology provides, or that you should be avoiding doing anything which allows you to sit. Naturally, with a career which requires you to sit at a desk all day, there is nothing you should have to change about that in relation to your job if you enjoy it.
All it means is that you need to take extra steps to best care for your health and wellbeing to ensure that you’re still moving as much as you should be and maintaining a healthy lifestyle alongside long hours of lack of movement.
How Often Are You Sitting?
It may be that you’re not fully aware of how many hours you spend sitting down. Especially when you have a busy routine and schedule, the hours may fly by, making you feel as though your day has gone particularly fast — when you haven’t moved in seven hours whilst glued to your desk.
It’s a good idea to take a step back and understand how many hours a day you spend sitting so that you can make the best plan for your own health and wellbeing going forward.
So, when might situations call for excessive amounts of time spent sat down?
This could be:
- A desk job which requires a full day of sitting in a chair.
- Pastime activities which you do sat down, such as reading a book, playing video games, painting or even socialising in a space where you’re seated in a chair, like a pub or a restaurant.
- Watching excessive hours of television.
How Can You Best Care for Your Health and Wellbeing When You Sit Down A Lot?
Set Up a Schedule for The Day
This is particularly important when you have a desk job. Without conscious thought or active measures, the chances are that you are going to forget to get up regularly and stay stuck at your desk.
Plan a schedule ahead of time. Understand when you can take your breaks and spread them out throughout the day to stand and move about. Take a walk on your lunch break instead of eating at your desk. Keep refreshments at the opposite side of the room, so that you have to get up and walk to get a drink of water or make a hot drink. Simple actions like this will help you stay active throughout the day, without distracting you from your work.
Allow Yourself to Adapt to Any Situation
Good health and fitness are possible, no matter the circumstances, if you have enough forward planning and willpower to make it happen. If your reasons for avoiding looking after yourself in the best way — for example, resigning yourself to not moving all day because that’s your job and you believe that’s the way it should be — are based on circumstance, then change. Adaptive habits are all that is needed.
Life can change at any time, which means that your workout schedule and healthy habits always need to change along with it. Always be flexible when it comes to how and when you can exercise and understand that compromises may always need to be made.
As shown through this Myprotein survey and article, the drastic lifestyle change which occurred as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic means that people have had to adapt significantly to ensure that their health was cared for and their fitness routines kept on top of — in whichever way possible.
Do Exercises While Sat Down
Being sat down doesn’t mean that you can’t move and stretch. There are many leg exercises you can do while sitting at a desk. You can also sit in particular ways (such as yoga stretch positions) to stretch out your body.
Switch Up Your Hobbies
If you’re sat down all day for work and then come home to engage in hobbies which require you to sit down, even more, you may want to consider more active hobbies. If you usually socialise with friends in pubs or places which need you to sit down, why not suggest a more active hobby such as hitting the gym together or going to play sports together? You can still converse and spend time with each other; just do this while moving.
If you have indoor hobbies such as reading or painting, try and take your hobbies elsewhere, such as taking a book on a walk with you, or even just to a coffee shop which you can walk to and then sit down with your book there.
Ensure That You’re Sitting Properly
When sitting can’t be avoided, you need to make sure you’re keeping your body in a healthy condition. Proper posture when sitting is essential for good health, including a healthy spine. Make sure that your space is optimised for comfort and support.
Also be more mindful regarding how you’re sitting, even when you’re relaxing or lounging. Sitting with your legs crossed, for example, can restrict healthy circulation, especially if you’re sitting for long periods. You may also find yourself slouching when relaxing, so be sure to be a little more aware of how to sit in a better way to promote more positive health.
Caring for your health when your lifestyle requires you to sit for long periods is simply about making more effort to counteract the effects of sitting. Be sure to implement a healthy exercise routine, sit properly, move regularly (even if it’s simply standing up for a few minutes) and make any necessary changes to promote better wellbeing.