Quick Tip for Staying Healthy: Helpful Ideas for People Who Have to Sit

sitting.jpgMany of us know that sitting isn’t great for our health. More studies are coming out all the time with more warnings about sitting too much, even if you exercise every day. But the harder question is what to do about it, especially when your job or other life circumstances involve significant amounts of computer work, driving, and other sedentary actions.

Here are a few tips (with some more resources below) to get more active during sedentary activities, as well as advice on the best way to sit.

Tips for When You Need to Sit:

  • Sit on something wobbly, like an exercise ball or a backless stool. This will make your core muscles work while you are sitting. Be sure to sit up straight and keep your feet flat on the floor in front of you, supporting about a quarter of your weight.

  • Alternate between sitting and standing at your work station. For example, put your laptop on top of something (bookcase, shelf, file cabinet) while you are reading documents on your computer. Or try to remember to stand up whenever you are on the phone.

  • Set a timer to go off every thirty minutes. When it goes off, stand up for at least 30 seconds or go walk around the hall or outside.

  • At work, use a smaller cup or glass so that you will need to go get refills more often. Or drink more fluids throughout the day, requiring more walks to the restroom.

  • Walk during commercials when you are watching TV.

  • Stretch your hip flexors for three minutes per side once a day (another good activity during commercials).

  • Try yoga poses. Some yoga poses, such as cat pose and cow pose, can improve the extension and flexion in your back.

The Best Way to Sit:

  • Sit up straight; don’t lean forward

  • Relax your shoulders

  • Keep your arms close to your sides

  • Bend your elbows at 90°

  • Place your feet flat on the floor

Resources, and for more information: