You may have heard of the term “sedentary lifestyle” recently as there has been large health campaigns around this type of behaviour. “Sitting is the new smoking” is one of these campaigns which likened the health risks of being sedentary to those of smoking a pack of cigarettes each day. Often, sedentary lifestyles are confused with inactive lifestyles or not completing the recommended guidelines of physical activity each day. This is not entirely the case.
Being sedentary is defined as spending a lot of time sitting or lying down, whether this is sitting at work, sitting on the bus or in the car or lying on the couch at home watching television. Therefore, more often than not, someone who is highly sedentary will more than likely also be inactive and not meeting the recommended physical activity levels.
However, it is possible to be both active and sedentary. For example, if you go the gym in the morning for an hour each day (meeting the recommended guidelines for exercise) but then sit in the car to work, sit all day at work before coming home to lie down on the couch and watch TV all night, you are also living a sedentary lifestyle.
Often in the case of occupations and transportation, being sedentary for periods of the day is inevitable, so here are some tips to reduce your sedentary time during these periods:
- Use the stairs instead of the lift
- Get off the bus earlier or park a bit further away and walk the rest of the way to work
- Go for a short walk during your lunch break
- Set a timer for 30 or 60 minutes and each time it goes off, get up and go for a short walk. This will not only decrease the duration of your sitting, but exercise helps to reduce stress and improve clarity in the brain, improving your work output.
Our Accredited Exercise Physiologist can work with you or your workplace to help reduce sedentary behaviours whilst also improving work productivity, to find out more call us today on 8331 1557.