We know that sitting for long periods is not healthy but this it is what most of us are doing for a living. What can we do to counteract this?
Little movement and often
Research shows that moving every hour for just two minutes reaps huge health benefits.
If you work in an office you are likely to spend at a lot of time sitting at your desk. What can you do about it?
Advice on getting into your ‘perfect’ posture and staying there for hours has long gone and been replaced with moving!
What can you do to move more?
- Take the stairs rather than the lift is one we all know!
- Can you pop round to speak to someone rather than emailing or phoning them?
- Take the long way around. If you are going to a meeting, can you find a long way to get there rather than taking the shortest, quickest route?
- If someone comes to your desk can you stand up to chat rather than stay seated?
- Make frequent trips to the water cooler or coffee machine rather than everyone in the team going once. Get your own or chum your team mate to help carry cups back.
- Have meetings in a different building and be away from your desk.
- Take back your lunch hour and go out for a wander.
- Have a meeting on the run. If both you and your colleagues run, take the meeting outside. Save the difficult questions for running up Dublin Street though!
- Book a meeting room for webinar or calls so you can have stretch, stand, walk about & fidget in private!
- If you’re on a call at your desk, stand up? This will help you think “on your feet”
- Wear a pedometer and find out just much you are moving and this will give you a daily steps target to aim for.
If you work from home it can be a wee bit harder as you are generally in a smaller space than when you are in an office. Which means you need to be a wee bit more inventive to be inefficient and move more.
- If you are a regular tea drinker, you probably get up every hour to make yourself a cup of tea. How can you deliberately make the two minutes it takes for the kettle to boil active minutes?
- I have a mat rolled out in my living room during the day, as I have discovered that simple act helps me to get on my mat. Even if it is just 2 minutes of stretching I know I will feel better for it.
- Doing chores during your working day can be distracting but it can also help remind you to move more. My washing machine beeps when it’s done, which is a good reminder to get up and move and take a break for a few minutes.
- If you are in a house rather than a flat, what excuses can you find to use the stairs?
If you are stuck at your desk, here are a few inconspicuous moves you can do:
- Ankle circles
- Point and flex feet
- Shoulder shrugs
- Neck stretches
- Big yawn stretch
- Wrist stretches
How to remember to move every hour when you are busy with work?
You could do this by setting your alarm to go off every hour to prompt you to move for two minutes.
Some fitness trackers now track this for you. My Fitbit has a ‘reminder to move’ setting which is a nudge you to get moving every hour
Walking and work sandwiches
This is simply as is sounds, sandwiching in work with a decent walk on either side. To and from your home if you are lucky enough to walk to work or from wherever the bus or train drops you off or the car park. A triple decker sandwich is when you can go for a walk a lunch as well.
If you work from home, it usually works in reverse as you start working and then shuffle out for a walk mid morning and mid afternoon. It can be a little bit harder mentally to find an excuse or perhaps a few chores to stop working and get outside.
We are used to a goal of 10,000 steps a day which is a useful guide. Most phones have apps with step counters on them or there are fitness watches to fit most budgets these days.
I definitely think on my feet and no longer think going for a walk is time off, as my brain starts whizzing with ideas and solutions as soon as start to move. Sitting for long periods has the opposite effect. It is the perfect antidote to menopausal brain fog.
This activity does not replace formal exercise but regular movement is an important part of wellbeing. We were designed to move and be active! What can you do today to be just a wee bit more active than yesterday? What can you do tomorrow to be a wee bit more active than you are today?
Small steps make huge health changes.
If you found this blog helpful, and looking for more simple practical solutions to help you to be healthier and energise you during the menopause, Menogise is just for your. It’s a 4 week digital programme desigened to help you get on your mat again with short stretch routines, with exercises selected for the menopause. Click here to find out more