Sit less, move moreThursday, 5 January 2017
The temperature’s dropping and you might catch yourself spending more time on the couch, rugged up where it’s warm. But no matter what weather, sitting less is a great goal to work towards for your health. Sedentary behaviour can lead to type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and coronary heart disease.
You do the maths: how long have you been sitting for today?
Consider sitting for meals, work, travel, watching TV, reading, on the computer, waiting for appointments.
Whatever your age, whether you’re working or at home, ask yourself ‘how can I reduce my sitting time?’. Reducing time in front of the television is a great place to start, as multiple studies have shown more time spent watching TV results in higher risk of health problems.
What can you do to help reduce your risk?
- Limit screen time to 2 hours a day – the magic number studies have shown to reduce risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
- Break up your sitting time regularly. Just standing up will make a difference!
- Stand to read the paper or sort through your junk mail.
- Watch television while doing household chores like folding clothes or ironing.
- Walk and talk when making phone calls.
- Take the stairs instead of the lift. If your destination is up too many flights of stairs take the elevator part way and walk the rest.
- Park further away from the shops or walk instead of driving.
- Plan regular breaks during long car trips and be active during the breaks.
- Stand while in meetings at work.
Tracking devices like pedometers and Fitbit’s are great tools to use to get you moving more throughout the day. These devices help you track your steps and allow you to watch them increase as you become more mindful of your sitting time. It may be just the prompt you need to get started!
If you want to make this your new fitness goal set some targets for yourself and track your progress. Every bit adds up!
Looking for a pedometer? Check out diabetesshop.com