Hey, don’t just sit there!

By Mike Lampl, BWC Research Director

Unfortunately, it’s way too easy to spend a significant amount of time sitting throughout the day. Some studies show that office workers typically spend seven or more hours sitting at work.

Add in driving to and from work, sitting at meals, sitting while watching television or reading, and you’ve easily spent 10 or more hours sitting, often without many postural changes during that time.

Prolonged sitting is associated with many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular ailments, diabetes, and cancer.

Here are some things to keep in mind while you are sitting.

  1. Your feet should be fully supported by the floor or a footrest.
  2. Your back should be fully supported with appropriate lumbar support when sitting vertically or leaning back slightly.
  3. Your thighs and hips should be supported by a well-padded seat and generally parallel to the floor.
  4. Your knees should be about the same height as the hips with the feet slightly forward.

Your next posture is your best posture. In other words, remember to make small adjustments to your chair to change your posture frequently throughout the day. And most importantly get up at least every 30 minutes for at least six minutes.

Here are some ways to incorporate standing throughout the day.

  • Stand up while talking on the phone. This has the added benefit of a generally more energetic voice.
  • Conduct a walking meeting inside or outside. Fresh air can be great, but find some shade or stay inside if it is too hot outside.
  • Stand up to clean clutter at your desk/workstation. You may be surprised what you find.
  • Conduct a standing meeting. This may also have the added benefit of keeping the meeting from going too long.
  • Walk to your co-workers’ desk and talk instead of sending an email or instant message. Sometimes face-to-face communication takes care of things quicker.

Introducing more standing and moving into your work regimen and home activities can improve your well-being, and make you a more productive person.

It is OK to sit for a good part of the day, but interrupting sitting with standing or moving every 30 minutes can be a very worthwhile change!

Remember: Sit less. Move more.

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