Recent Lark DPP check-ins have talked about an easy way to improve health and speed weight loss. Breaking up periods of sitting still can have these and other benefits without worries about choosing healthier foods or scheduling workouts. Standing burns 20% more calories per minute than sitting, and can be a gateway to more movement and increased benefits. How can you stand more during your days?
Ways to Stand More
When is a good time to stand up? Pretty much anytime you do not need to be sitting is a good time to stand up. This can be…
- When reading emails
- When thinking about what to type or post next
- When talking to other people
- When watching someone show you something on the computer
It can also help to do things in person, such as talking to coworkers instead of phoning, taking mail to the mailroom instead of waiting for it to be picked up. Plus, trips to the break room, water cooler, and bathroom are additional ways to stand and move a bit.
Another way to get off your chair is to change workstations when possible. A few workplaces may offer this opportunity as you move on your own or move when working with different groups. At home, you can do something similar by working in a coffee shop or different places around your home when you need only your laptop and not an entire desk with paperwork.
There is no need to be motionless while standing. Knee bends, dips, side and front lunges, and squats all multiply the calorie burn and benefits. So can pacing the office if stuck inside, or strolling outside, if possible, while on the phone.
Convincing Your Coworkers and Boss
Be honest now. After reading the above suggestions, while you may be convinced that it is healthy to stand up more, are you saying to yourself, “No way can I do this at work!” There may be fear of embarrassment from doing something different, or concern that coworkers or supervisors may perceive your breaks from sitting as a way to do less work.
The best way to address this may be to schedule a heart-to-heart meeting with your boss to explain what you are doing and why. There is no shortage of research showing that standing can have benefits not only for you, but for your company.,, [1, 2, 3] For example:
- It can increase alertness and improve cognition
- It can reduce fatigue
- It can improve cardiovascular health and lower blood sugar, which can lead to lower healthcare costs for employers.
Knowing the benefits may help convince managers to support your individual efforts and to help change the company culture to be more accepting of healthy behaviors.
Limiting Non-Work Sedentary Time
The office is not the only place where a lot of sitting happens. Even working parents report spending 1.5 to 2 hours per day watching television, according to the American Time Use Survey. That amount of time is plenty long for standing breaks to be beneficial, often during commercials. Using smartphones and tablets can also be opportunities to add standing time to the day.
It may take some practice to make standing up a habit, but the results can be anything from instantly gratifying to life-saving. Can you think of some ways to increase your standing time during your regular day?