Unless you have a job that requires you to be up and moving all day, you probably spend a lot of time sitting at your desk. I know I do! As a blogger and freelance writer, I’d say 95% of my work life is spent in the same chair. It’s not even a comfortable chair! After a few hours of this, my back, legs, and butt are killing me. The thing is, I can’t really afford a gym membership, and besides, when I’m working, I hate leaving my office space! I like to get into a writing groove and hammer out a week’s worth of posts in one sitting at times. Heading out to a gym will totally destroy my rhythm. I needed to find a way to incorporate more exercise into my day without actually leaving the house.
Is sitting too much slowly killing you?
Did you know that, according to an article on the Mayo Clinic (one of my top three go-to sources for all things health-related), spending too much time sitting can actual increase your risk of dying from some horrible, rotten disease by 50%? Mind you, the article talks about people who sit in front of a TV all day, but I can’t imagine sitting in front of your computer is any healthier. In my opinion, that makes blogging one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet! I mean, how many other jobs increase your risk of untimely death by 50%?
Aside from possibly causing you to keel over at an earlier age, sitting all day can also cause issues like:
- back pain
- high blood pressure
- cancer (I’m not sure I understand how sitting can cause cancer, but then again, everything causes cancer these days)
Fun, right? Well, writing is my only marketable skill, so I don’t foresee my job changing anytime soon, so what’s a girl to do to prevent misery and early death?
Tips for getting your butt out of your chair and moving during work
- Break your day up into chunks. If you work from home, this is fairly easy to do. Work in the morning for two hours, then head out and do errands. Come home and work a little more. Make dinner and spend time with the kids, then finish up at night. That way, you’re never sitting for hours and hours on end.
- Take frequent breaks. If you can’t break the day up into chunks like that, at least schedule frequent breaks. Every hour, do something that requires you to stand for a good ten minutes. File papers, clean your desk, make phone calls while pacing around your office. Just get out of that chair.
- Get up to think! If your job requires as much thinking as mine does, get out of your chair while you do your brainstorming. Either record your thoughts into a voice recorder or just spend some time composing notes in your head. Stepping away from the screen may even help give you some new perspective and let you come up with an idea that really works great.
- Sign up for Break Pal. This is one of the coolest, simplest little programs to get you up and moving. Once you sign up, you can set it up to interrupt you every so many minutes. The program will tell you it’s time to get up and fit in some exercise. It even gives you some simple activities you can do right there at your desk! You get points for doing exercises, and can share your progress with your pals all over the world. It’s like a social network, home gym, and workout video library all in one!
Features of Break Pal
- A variety of exercising ranging from Tai Chi to Belly Dancing!
- Totally customizable. You can set it for any amount of time, although I suggest setting it for once an hour.
- Web-based app doesn’t require download. Just keep the page open and minimized on your desktop.
- Socialize with people all over the world who are also trying to get move active at their desks!
- Available as an iPhone app. Android coming soon!
Break Pal has several different pricing structures, including one for $9.95 per month and one for $197 for life. Choose the one that best fits your budgets.
Excellent tips! I spend way too much time in an office chair and my back is always so sore by the end of the day. I’ll have to try out some of the tips!
I love that teachers can find student exercises on here!
Ooh, I so want to try the office yoga and the desk yoga!!
I learned that you don’t have to work at a “regular” job to need this advice! I’m home all day and sit a lot. And when I’m not sitting I’m just standing, watching gymnastics or teaching or whatever.
That app looks really cool! Wish I had heard about it last year, before the baby was here. You’ve got some great tips in this post to help defeat the butt spread from working. 🙂
I spend most of my day (and night) sitting in a chair. These tips are so helpful!
I love that it has Cardio Kung Fu! It just seems awesome to leap up from your desk and start kung fu-ing. I work from home, so it’s socially acceptable for me to do so. 😛