The revolution of everyday activity provides exercise opportunities for everyone, always
Everyday activity is fun and easy while also promoting wellness and happiness for yourself and for others. Everyday activity is not just for health, but plays a central role in both physical and psychological health. Everyday activity improves quality of sleep, decreases stress, and supports your social relationships. The best mode of everyday activity is the one that suits you and is the most effective tool to use against even the most inviting sofa.
Everyday activity is easy. All you need to do to be active is to stand up from the chair. However, the built and social environments often support the sedentary alternatives, making the active choice more difficult and more reliant on personal choices. Promoting everyday activity at work together makes each active choice easier, more appealing, and more inspiring for everyone.
Promote healthy standing at work:
1. If standing is tiring, you can rest your legs by shifting your weight from one leg to the other, shifting one leg in front of the other, doing toe raises, sitting, or even better, by taking a quick walk.
2. Find a slightly softer and bouncier rug to stand on. It will help your legs and back by allowing for small movement while standing.
3. A small wedge below the heel will shorten the calf-muscles and slow metabolism in your legs. Good shoes for standing are soft and relatively thin-soled.
4. If you stand for prolonged periods of time, put your feet up when you have breaks to decrease any possible swelling.
5. While standing increases energy expenditure, it is neither the only or best method for losing weight because overweight increases the risk for lower back pain, especially during prolonged standing. Regular breaks for walking between sitting and standing gives your vertebrae the important movement that they need and increase energy expenditure even more.
6. Despite the benefits, not everyone likes to work while standing. Install one adjustable workstation in your office that everyone can test or share. You will save money and avoid surprises.
7. Up to 60% of employees switch from sitting to standing while working only once a month or less. Education and advice about standing workstations increase their use and satisfaction with the product. Employers should invest in this as well.
Make it a habit:
8. Take a water bottle with 1.5 L of water in it to your workstation every morning and make it a goal to empty this bottle during the day. Many people suffer from prolonged dehydration without knowing it. In addition, you will need to get up out of your seat in order to adjust your fluid levels.
9. Put your table at standing height before you leave for lunch and at the end of the day. When you return to your office, you can start working from a standing position. In fact, the effect of standing on your metabolism is at its best right after eating.
10. Adopt new routines into your workday. Stand up when you answer the phone, go for a short walk after lunch, and stretch your arms using the door frame every time you leave your office.
11. Eat 4-6 times per day, or every 3-4 hours. When your blood sugar remains stable, you will have the energy to exercise and do your work. Exercise helps to keep your blood sugar stable, so exercise and regular eating create a positive cycle!
Make it happen together:
1. In order to avoid answering questions about why you always stand during coffee breaks, request a bar table, without bar stools, for your break room. It is natural to stand at a bar table.
2. Start the tradition of “Sneaker Friday” at your workplace or school. When everyone wears athletic shoes on rather than dress shoes, activity is socially acceptable and fun. In addition, sneakers are more comfortable than dress shoes.
3. Put up a poster in a public place that says “Place to stand – it is OK to stand here and burn fat”. You make the active choice social acceptable and may even get a few laughs.
4. Estimate or measure how active you are in your daily life. When you figure out how much you sit and how your daily tasks affect your total sitting time, it is easier to make active choices because you will understand the need for change and will know what changes you need to focus on.
5. One of the biggest barriers to switching from sitting to standing workstations is the open office environment, but the environment can also be one of the biggest promoters of standing workstations. Accept your colleagues and encourage them to work actively.
Arto Pesola and Trainer4You Oy
Arto Pesola (PhD) has studied how health risks of sitting can be reduced with simple daily actions. In his PhD studies, he discovered that only a 20 minutes reduction in daily sitting time is enough to prevent weight gain in office workers. Arto’s two popular books about the topic have been translated to international distribution. Currently Arto works as a research manager in Active Life Lab, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. In addition to his research work he has been actively delivering his findings through a health technology company Fibion Inc and through several media appearances. In 2015 he was also working as an expert member in a working group for Finnish sedentary behavior recommendations invited by Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
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The above text is from the August 10 webinar The Revolution of Everyday Activity – Why sitting is so dangerous. Webinars are organized in cooperation with Trainer4You.
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