In the mountains of Colorado, we’re lucky to have plenty of outdoor activities to keep us active. Still, the majority of us — over 80% of American workers — have jobs that are completely sedentary.
Why is this such a concern? Well, have you heard the catchphrase, “Sitting is the new smoking?”
One medical expert went so far as to say that “sitting kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting.” This is because sitting too much can increase your chances of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer.
Short of quitting your job (which probably isn’t a realistic option), what can you do to get on your feet and combat the effects of sitting too much? Here are four tips you can start using today.
1. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Technology gets a bad rap, but there are many tools available to help you live a healthier lifestyle.
For example, you can wear an Apple Watch, FitBit, a similar device that acts as a digital “coach.” You can also download tracking apps on your smartphone to monitor your activity (or lack thereof) during the day.
Even easier? Schedule a timer to go off in regular intervals reminding you to stand and step away from the computer for a moment. Getting up once an hour is great, but getting up once every 30 minutes is even better.
2. Schedule Short, Frequent Exercise
Spending all day on the mountain on Saturday is awesome, but one long day of activity isn’t enough to counteract an entire week of sitting.
The good news is you don’t have to spend hours at the gym after work each evening. Your body will benefit just as much from several short “exercise sets” throughout the day.
For example, you could squeeze in a ten-minute walk before you enter the office, during your lunch break, and before you drive home. That adds up to 150 minutes of exercise a week, which is the minimum amount recommended by the CDC.
3. Adopt New Active Habits
Don’t overthink this one. It really could be as simple as riding your bike instead of driving to work. Or, if you have no choice but to drive, park your car at the far end of the lot to increase your walking time.
When you have the option, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Invite your colleagues to walk and talk with you rather than sit in the break room. Make a habit of standing and stretching during a phone call or during commercial breaks when you’re watching TV.
Bonus tip: If possible, get a standing desk (or a desktop converter). That way, you can switch between sitting and standing during the day.
4. Get Regular Bodywork
Sitting all day puts tremendous pressure on our backs, necks, and hips. Over time, this affects our posture and alignment and can lead to chronic discomfort.
Despite your best efforts, you’re still likely to feel a few aches and pains associated with sitting too much. One of the best ways to keep your body healthy, limber, and pain-free is by getting regular bodywork.
Whether you choose a Swedish or deep tissue massage, you’ll feel the benefits right away. Your muscles will be looser, your joints will be more mobile, and you’ll feel less stiff and achy.
For added physical benefits, consider enhancing your massage session with cupping, arnica balm, magnesium lotion, or CBD oil.
Overcome the Effects of Sitting Too Much
The consequences of sitting too much are well-documented, but that doesn’t mean we can instantly change our work or our lifestyle.
Your best bet is to find small ways to get up and move throughout the day. You can also adopt healthy habits to improve your posture and keep your body limber.
Speaking of regular bodywork, when’s the last time you got a massage? Our skilled therapists are ready to help you combat those aches and pains that come with sitting too much!
Book your session online or give us a call at 970-445-2114 to schedule your Vail massage.