It may take some getting used to it, but becoming mindful of how often you sit will get you into the habit of standing and getting your body moving.
As the pandemic has limited our possibilities to engage in social and physical activities outdoors, and with more people staying home as a result, many of us have found ourselves sitting more than usual. As you might be aware by now, too much sitting can have adverse effects on your physical health, but researchers have recently found that it can also negatively affect your mental health.
Luckily, there are a few strategies you can take up in order to sit less during the day and keep both your mind and body sharp. From Juanina Kocher at MindBodyGreen, here are a few tips and tricks:
Take a 10-minute walk after every meal.
Walking after your meals can keep your blood sugars stable, which in turn helps keep hormones in balance, overcomes the sleepy and sluggish feeling that comes on in the afternoon, supports metabolism, and supports digestion. On top of the physical benefits, walking can also help ease symptoms related to mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
Take a 5-minute standing stretch.
If you find yourself sitting more as a result of resting, make sure that you don’t do it for hours on end. In case you’re binge-watching a show or are engaged in a reading marathon, make sure to get moving with a quick standing stretch in between episodes or chapters.
Dance it out.
Just dance. Find a moment to put on your favorite tune and strut your stuff to it. Dancing doesn’t only get you moving, but it also has incredible mood-boosting properties, too. Just like walking, dancing is a win-win, since both your body and mind benefit.
Tidy up your space.
Take a few minutes to clean your home. Doing so will not only get you up and moving, but will also boost your energy and clear your mind.
Set up reminders or alerts.
Do you even remember the last time you sat up? It’s way too easy to get caught up in work or get out of whatever internet rabbit hole you’ve fallen into and not even realize that you’ve been sitting for hours. Set a reminder on your phone to get your attention and nudge you into to actually get up and move.
Try standing while you work.
If you work from home and your job requires you to sit at the computer all day long, consider looking into a professional, ergonomic sit-to-stand desk. If you decide not to switch out your current desk, try other strategies, such as standing up during each phone call or every time you need to send a text on your mobile phone.
Anytime you are inclined to sit. Stand.
On public transportation, when socializing, making a phone call, or writing a text, try to stand or take a walk anytime you can. It may take some getting used to it, but becoming mindful of how often you sit will get you into the habit of standing and getting your body moving. Both your physical and mental health will be satisfied.
Additional sources: University of Huddersfield — The impact of sitting time and physical activity on mental health during COVID-19 lockdown
By Vlad Harabara for The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News
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