Stand Up!

5/21/14

Author: Emily Burrows

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Let me share something you probably already know. Sitting for long periods of time could be shortening your life. Studies continue surfacing that associate sitting for 6+ hours a day with higher rates of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic pain. You may even know that all of this sitting trumps meeting the recommended 2.5 hours of weekly physical activity.

It’s all pretty frustrating if you have a desk job. Many workers are dinged for being away from their work station, despite evidence that taking regular breaks (and vacations!) actually helps focus and morale. With new governmental incentives for companies offering workplace wellness programs a cultural shift is in the works, but what about the meantime?

Let’s revolt against sitting culture! Your manager hates when you leave your cubicle but isn’t finding the resources to get you a standing desk? Search Pinterest for ideas to make your own. Your coworkers may be inspired to join you when they realize you can see what they’re tweeting (but you’d never spy, would you?).

Do you get so absorbed in your work that you forget to take breaks? Download an app like Work Rave or Eyelo that reminds you to get up. If the situation gets dire, you can up your water intake and let your bladder call the shots. While you’re at it, you might take the stairs to a restroom on another floor.

Have an office? Grab a cubicle-dwelling coworker, close the door, and have a 5-minute dance party. You are living the dream!

When I worked in a cube farm, my colleagues and I often moved our meetings outdoors, took laps around the building and even met on the treadmills in the gym. In another job, if my coworker and I didn’t take the stairs on the way to the research clinic, we’d re-enact the Single Ladies video in an empty elevator. Our dancing was the worst, but it was a great pick-me-up.

Are you already breaking out of sitting culture? How are you doing it?

Love this post? Find more from Emily Burrows here. For one-on-one accountability and support:

Learn about Self-Care Coaching with Emily.

Learn about Private Yoga Lessons with Emily. 

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