In case you haven’t realized by now. Sitting all day has some really harmful effects on your body ranging from lower back pain to heart disease.
The long term effects are almost irreversible, so it’s important to do things on a daily basis in response to this. If you’re looking for a way to counter the negative effects, here is a list of things you can do each and every day.
1. Get a sit/stand desk
In case you haven’t realized by the domain name, I’m a huge fan of sit/stand desks. I put this at number 1 because I think it’s the most important thing you can do, especially for someone who stares at a computer all day. Not only does this get you up and more active, but it can increase focus as well. Instead of sitting 40 hours a week you can cut that number in half or more depending on how much you utilize the standing option. Hence, why is this is the best thing you can do to counter all day sitting.
2. Take short breaks every hour and walk around.
Literally, 5 minutes every hour you should be away from your desk moving around. Especially if you haven’t taken advantage of the number 1 option. Granted, not every employer may allow this. However, if you can’t leave your desk area then at least try standing up and stretching. Which leads us to the next thing on the list.
For the love of God. You have to stretch. Your body is sitting there, dormant, all day long. 10 to 20 minutes of stretching can really make a difference. Especially if you suffer from lower back issues due to sitting. Adding a yoga session each week would be even better. There are plenty of good stretches. Focus on stretching your hamstrings, hip flexors, as well as your back.
This is kind of obvious. But of course, after sitting there doing nothing physically all day it’s clearly a good idea to do the opposite of that and move around. The key is to go at your own pace, set goals, and gradually improve.
5. Massage Therapy
Personally, I don’t know where I would be without deep tissue massage therapy. In my opinion, this is probably the most underrated option here. It’s incredibly effective, especially for who are dealing with back and neck pain. If you can squeeze this in at least once a month it can be really beneficial in helping to counter all day sitting.
6. Inversion Therapy
This ranks up there with massage therapy as being highly underrated. Mostly because people are skeptical about the effectiveness. However, many studies have shown promise that it is effective in improving lower back pain. Anectodally, it has given me excellent results and feel it was well worth the $100 investment.
7. Eat a healthy diet
Notice at the start of this article I mentioned that sitting all day not only affects you in terms of back pain, but can also contribute to heart disease. Wow. That’s pretty intense. Not only that but you’re far more likely to be overweight the less active you are, which in turn leads to all kinds of health concerns. Eating a diet that reduces your risk of illness and disease is just another piece of the puzzle in countering a dormant lifestyle. Personally, I love the paleo diet. To each his own though.
This is a very informative article, I had no idea that heart disease was one of the side effects of sitting all day. I guess it makes sense that someone who sits all day may gain extra weight in the process. This is a great list here. However, utilizing a sit/stand desk will probably be one of the easiest things on that list to do for someone who isn’t motivated.
Glad you liked the article! I agree, getting a sit/stand desk is definitely the easiest thing to do. After the initial investment, you will just naturally use it every day.