People who regularly break up their sedentary time with movement as small as taking one step had healthier waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), and triglycerides than people who didn’t take breaks during long periods of sitting. That’s what Australian researchers found in a 2008 study.
But how to make a habit out of taking breaks? Toni Yancey’s Instant Recess book offers the following suggestions for people who feel chained to their office desks:
- Take a 10-minute activity break at a scheduled time every day.
- Park farther away from the places where you work, shop, play, study and worship.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Put printers a short walking distance away from your work or study space instead of right next to it.
- Replace desk chairs with stability balls — or use a standing desk to get rid of the chair entirely — to burn more calories while working.
- Fidget, stand up and stretch at intervals during meetings.
~ Eliza Barclay, Fighting That ‘Chained To The Desk’ Feeling (sidebar)
No excuses. Get up and s-t-r-e-t-c-h right now.
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