Stand in the place where you work
Putting your best foot forward at your job isn't just about bringing your best to the work you do. It's also about literally putting one foot in front of the other while you're on the job — in particular if what you do requires a large amount of sitting. And before you defend yourself by saying that you get plenty of exercise — before work, on your lunch or after work — you'll want to hear this: even if you do get regular daily exercise, sitting for extended periods of time without moving reduces your life expectancy. Seriously.
The recently published results of a study
that tracked the health behavior of 12,000 Australian adults noted that for every hour of sedentary behavior, you shave 22 minutes off your life. (The study tracked hours of television watched, because that was the easiest way to gauge sedentary time.) Smoking one cigarette, by comparison, shaves 11 minutes off your life.
It's not the only study out there. One after the other reports the same thing: sitting for long periods of time is hazardous to your health.
What's the solution to being sedentary?
There is a solution.
Move more. Simple, yes, but if we're not thinking about how to move more, chances are we're still sitting in one place for too long. When you change your behavior, you change the way your body responds to all that sitting. According to New York Times columnist and author Gretchen Reynolds, standing up once every 20 minutes
can keep your body from falling prey to the ills of sitting still. There are plenty of other ways, too, that can help keep your body, heart and mind performing well on the job:
Take your phone calls standing up.
When the phone rings, let that be a signal to get on your feet. If you take a lot of phone calls, consider yourself blessed.
Set your alarm to wake up your legs.
If you're the type of person who just won't make it a habit unless it's forced upon you, then set your phone alarm to remind you to stand up.
Meet in person— not on the phone.
We've become accustomed to convenience. We email or call colleagues who are less than 10 feet away from us because we can. Now that we know this kind of convenience is likely to make us unwell, it's time to rise to the occasion. Literally.
Have a walking meeting.
If you can multitask at your desk, why not do the same for a meeting? If your meeting doesn't require a PowerPoint or any other kind of supporting materials, take it to the café, or outside. Your body — and mind — will thank you.
Your toe-tapping or finger-drumming may make your coworker want to strap your extremities to the ground, but it's better than sitting still. When you do more of this incidental moving around, you improve your cardiorespiratory fitness
Walk on your lunch.
If you have the time and the ability, walking on your lunch is a great way to take a break from the rigors (and stressors) of work, and to stretch and energize your body (and mind). Obviously, you'll burn calories and get your heart pumping, and you'll also put your body in mind of how good it feels to get your move on.