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5 Ways to Sit Less

What do we do when we’re not sleeping? Usually, we’re sitting. And that’s causing big problems for our health.

Recent studies suggest that lack of movement is upping our risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and early death—even for people who exercise. In fact, new evidence suggests that sitting for two hours can erase the heart and lung benefits of a 20-minute workout.

But don’t get discouraged! The key is to exercise and also to break up long stretches of sitting. These simple tips can help:

  1. Exercise while you’re watching television.
    Stay off the couch by stretching, lifting weights, or even walking in place. Or you could do light housework during the commercials, like the dishes, laundry, or taking out the recycling.
  2. Stand up when you take public transportation.
    Your legs and core muscles (back and abs) will get in some minor work flexing and contracting to keep you balanced.
  3. If you work in an office, set your phone timer for a 10-minute standing break every hour.
    Use that time to read over documents that you’ve printed out or have a quick meeting. Take the stairs when possible, and always take the long route to the bathroom.
  4. Take a walk during your lunch break.
    You can do errands, pick up lunch, or just enjoy the fresh air. It’ll also help lower your stress!
  5. Try a standing desk, either at home or at the office.
    Ask if your work offers standing desk options or consider one for your home office. Before you buy one, which can cost anywhere from $150 to $1,000, try working at the kitchen counter for a few hours a day.