7 Hacks For Sitting Less During the Workday

Just getting up and moving around can work wonders!

Happy young man working at a standing desk

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Are you sitting comfortably? Sitting is relaxing and how most of us are used to working most of the time. But here are some valuable tips for freeing yourself from the habit of long, uninterrupted sitting periods, to help you boost your health.

Why are breaks from sitting important? Research suggests that prolonged sitting, even in classrooms, can cause significant health issues such as heart disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, and obesity. The good news is that these risks can be reduced by interrupting long periods of sitting with movement at least once an hour. So follow these tips and tricks and your body and mind will thank you.

Get up for meals and coffee breaks

Are you about to eat lunch at your desk? Think again and consider taking active breaks during your workday. Very Well Fit, a website about nutrition and exercise, came up with some great ideas for achieving this goal. Using a smaller cup, which will make you get up for a refill more often, and taking a stroll while heating your meal, are some creative ways to add a little bit of movement to your workday routine. 

Taking a 10 or 15-minute walk after your meals, will also help you digest your food and get you energized for the working hours ahead.

Happy colleagues talking while standing at the office window

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Remind yourself to take breaks through alerts

When you are focused on a task, it is very likely that you won’t notice the passage of time. This is why it is so important to use alarms that remind you that it is time to take a break and move around. 

There are many options out there such as smartwatches and apps that can attract your attention through a warning message, a vibration, or a beeping sound. Once you get an alert, stand up and move for two to five minutes before sitting again, Very Well Fit suggests.

Try using a standing desk

Have you ever thought that it was even possible to work in front of your computer while standing? Alternating between a standing desk,  the benefits of which are well documented, and your usual desk is not only possible, but recommended. You can even opt for an adjustable 2-in-1 desk. Just make sure to set it up at the correct height according to ergonomic principles.

Woman typing on laptop at stand-up workplace

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Sit down, just not always on a chair!

Have you considered that there are other less sedentary ways of sitting than on  a chair? Active sitting, also known as dynamic sitting, which is sitting on an unstable surface, may be less comfortable, but it will encourage you to use muscles that you might not use otherwise. The exercise ball, the balance disk and the wobble stool are just some of the options suggested by Very Well Fit that you might want to consider.

But if you must sit in a chair, Ergonomics Health suggests trying “actively engaging at least some of your muscles while sitting in a chair whether that be back, abdominal, or leg muscles. Examples include: “lifting each foot off of the ground and tracing out the alphabet, “butt crunches” where you repeatedly squeeze your glutes together, lifting your knees up one at a time towards your chest and holding in position.” 

Man working leaned on couch cross-legged near coffee table

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Tidy up your workstation

This ingenious idea from online lifestyle magazine Mind Body Green, will allow you to solve two problems at once. 

This is because spring cleaning your desk space will not only encourage you to get up and move, but you will also have a shining and neat space that will inspire you to work better and more efficiently. 

Tidy workspace

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If you are about to sit, stand instead

A great way to make yourself stand up during your workday, according to mindbodygreen, is to go against your established habit every time you are inclined to sit down. Are you making or answering a call? Stand up. Are you about to text or to read texts on your phone? Move around. Are you having a meeting with a co-worker or your boss? Go for a walk. Only by putting the most ingrained habits to the test will you achieve the best results.  

Two business people walking and discussing outside the office

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Take advantage of your commute

It probably hasn't occurred to you before, but commuting to and from work is also time you might want to optimize to boost your wellbeing. Think about ways in which you can replace your current habits with healthier ones. Consider walking or cycling to work instead of driving or taking the train. Or even catching the bus from the next stop to ensure you take a short morning walk before your commute.

Young man working on laptop and talking by phone while sitting on the bench near his bicycle

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