How to fix a Sedentary Lifestyle

You’ve probably heard it before, we lead lifestyles that are too sedentary and its causing serious health issues worldwide. But what does a sedentary lifestyle actually mean? Are YOU living a sedentary lifestyle? And is there a solution? Experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic has many of us reflecting on what our lifestyles were like pre Covid-19 and what they could be like post Covid-19.  Read on for today’s blog which will help make sure your post Covid-19 lifestyle is healthier and happier than ever!

Firstly, what is considered a sedentary lifestyle?

A sedentary behaviour involves any time a person is sitting or lying down (e.g. watching TV, using the computer, driving a car, reading). An accumulation of sedentary behaviour over the course of the day, specifically for six hours or more, and not meeting the recommended physical activity guidelines can lead to a sedentary lifestyle.

With advances in technology and transportation, many of us sit for many hours of the day and have very little activity. Even leisure time today involves very little activity. For example, scrolling through Instagram, watching TV, playing video games or specifically at the moment, lots of Zoom calls!

Solutions to fix a sedentary lifestyle:

One of the best things to do is think about your day ahead and ask yourself where you could swap a sedentary behaviour for something more active.  The goal is to increase non-exercise activity thermogenesis, known as NEAT, which is the energy expended for everything you do excluding sleep or formal exercise.

Activities that qualify as NEAT include walking to work, gardening, fidgeting, cleaning, or parking the car a bit farther away from the shops.  Even though these activities may seem trivial, they can substantially increase your metabolic rate throughout the day and culminate to reduce your total sedentary levels. Small efforts to stay active throughout the day has huge benefits for your health, happiness and productivity!

Tips at work:

  • Standing rather than sitting on public transport
  • Can you ride or walk to work instead of driving?
  • Ask for or invest in a standing desk or set up on a tall counter-top
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Stand up while talking on the phone
  • Walk for some of your lunch break
  • Walk to a colleague’s office instead of sending an email
  • Have a walking or standing meeting with co-workers instead of sitting in a conference room
  • Park a bit farther away to get a few more steps in

Tips at home:

  • Tidy up around the house as fast as you can
  • Stand or pace around the house while you’re talking on the phone
  • Play with your pets and go for an extra walk or two
  • Take a dance break! Put on your favourite music and get moving
  • Get up and stretch or do 10 squats every add break- by the end of the TV show you could have done 50 or so squats!

Create Structure

  • Get back into a structured exercise routine with the help of an Exercise Physiologist.
  • Consider gym-based exercise as well as walking
  • Get moving with a friend/family member
  • Join a gym

 

Talk to the Longevity Exercise Physiology Team about how you can make a change to your lifestyle and increase your activity levels. 1300 964 002!

 

Written by Courtney Maher

Courtney-Maher

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