If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk this one's for you.
Let’s be honest, it’s not easy making time to stand, especially in a world where many jobs today are desk-based. Chances are, right now you’re reading this while you’re sitting down (if not, pat yourself on the back). Even when you get home from a desk-based job it’s difficult to fight the temptation to flop into a heap on the sofa.
So what’s the problem with so much sitting? Research suggests that sitting for more than 4 hours a day can have negative effects on our health. In an effort to get moving, health experts recommend trying to clock up 10,000 steps every day. Studies have shown that reaching 10,000 steps over a 24 week period can boost your health and in some cases, it can even reduce blood pressure and improve glucose levels.
The good news, whilst it’s just one of many types of exercise, we’ve tried it out and 10,000 steps a day is definitely possible!
A few tips we use to get in those steps:
Walk while you work: Some work tasks, like listening to a webinar or making calls, are easy to do while you’re walking. In fact, some of us think we’re even able to make better contributions and absorb more information while walking.
Try out a standing desk: Or a box on top of a table if you’re on a budget. You’ll immediately end up sitting less, and if you want to take it to the next level add a treadmill (or march on the spot if you work at home or don’t embarrass easily).
Move at lunchtime: Eat your sandwich outside and take a stroll around. Not only will you be breathing in the fresh air, you’ll get the extra benefits of being out in the sunlight (greetings, vitamin D).
Some of our favourite tools:
A DIY treadmill desk: We bought the IKEA BEKANT desk which electronically changes height, and combined it with a Confidence Power Plus Motorised Treadmill with some slight modification to remove the frame (details here). Desk ready treadmills are also available from PremierFit and Office Fitness.
The Get Moving App: To track our steps, we use a simple app called Get Moving. We aim to reach around 8,000 steps during our work hours (including breaks and lunch). Most people get the extra 2,000 from normal daily movement. To reach this goal, we only need to use the treadmill for 1.5 hours a day at 2.5 mph. We break this into a morning and an afternoon session.
10,000 steps a day might sound like a challenge but with a standup desk, a treadmill and/or some habit changes it’s totally doable, and it feels great!