Chronic inactivity is a significant risk in the modern world, as a lot of people have jobs that require them to sit at a desk all day. This only adds to the other inactive hours while sleeping or watching TV.
Reducing chronic inactivity is now thought to be even more critical than doing regular exercise sessions. A 240,000-person study by the National Institutes of Health in the US found that adults who spend the most time seated have a 50 per cent higher mortality rate; even exercising for seven hours a week wasn't enough to improve this!
Reasons to try and move more are many. Movement and light, not overly exertional exercise helps boost immune function, improve metabolic function as well as helping you sleep better.
If you are working from home, it may be easier to move more during the day. If you are working at the office, it may take a bit more creativity and discipline to factor in regular movement breaks.
Indoor movement break suggestions:
- Roll from one side of the bed to the other three times before getting up in the morning (when you have the bed to yourself of course).
- When lying in bed, bend your knees and lift your hips up and down ten times slowly while tensing your buttock muscles and keeping your back relaxed.
- Stand up and sit down again from a lowish seat ten times, do three times a day.
- If you have a flight of stairs, walk up and down five times, do three times a day.
- Do ten press-ups, in standing, against a wall twice a day.
- Reach up above your head with both arms, make yourself long and tall while breathing to the base of the lungs, do for 20 secs, twice a day.
Outdoor movement break suggestions:
- Stand outside and take 10 deep breaths while raising your arms up and down, breath in as you raise your arms up, and out as you lower them down.
- Walking for 150 minutes a week, or about 30 minutes at least each day has huge benefits. Try and get out when it's light and find some green space (within the 2 km of the home if possible).
- Find some steps and walk up and down 10-15 times while out for your walk for added benefit.
- Do the same press up's you can do inside, but outside leaning against a tree (hug the tree afterwards!).
- Find a tree, a wall or a pole, hold on for balance then raise your heels up and down twenty times.
- If you like doing Yoga or Tai Chi, take it outside if possible for extra health benefits.
Take home message; being active is not enough if the rest of the time we are inactive. Keep moving!
In good health,
Image by NatureFriend from Pixabay