One of the biggest consequences of life today is that we don’t need to move. Work for a huge amount of us involves sitting at a desk all day long in front of a computer or looking down at our smart phones. I include myself in this. Although my job involves a hands-on aspect treating people I still find myself spending more and more time in front of a computer because of the demands of running a business as a physiotherapist. We cannot always change the fact we have to work like this but we can alter how we counteract the prolonged periods of being sedentary.
During the working day try and get up and move around regularly. We all have the best intentions but then we get engrossed in the important emails and before we know it we’ve not moved for several hours. Try getting up and moving around every hour and if that is not possible at least change your position and posture regularly (How good is your work posture) .Some people find splitting working between sitting and standing at their desks beneficial.
Outside of work it is so important to exercise. Not only is exercise good for general fitness, the heart and circulation but it also nourishes the mind therefore helping with stress and sleep. It can have a significant impact on aches and pains, especially if they are being caused by sitting all day. Of course, the amount of exercises, intensity and frequency really depends on your own fitness levels.
The National Health Services (NHS) in the UK recommends (for adults between 19-64 year old):
- At least 150 minutes of moderate exercise (eg fast walking, cycling) every week OR
- 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (eg running or a game of singles tennis) every week OR
- A mixture of both
- Strength training at least 2x week to work all the major muscle groups
Take a look at the website for further information: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/physical-activity-guidelines-for-adults.aspx
The NHS also has a great page for guiding people who want to begin running but don’t know here to start called couch to 5km:
I cannot emphasis enough the importance and benefits of moving. I appreciate free time is limited and not everyone enjoys getting hot and sweaty but even making small changes (e.g. walking/cycling to work rather than catching the tram and taking the stairs rather than the lift) can result in huge benefits. Why don’t you take a look at your lifestyle and have a think about what changes you can make!