Irritable? Struggling with concentration, tiredness and low mood during certain times of the day?
These feelings seem to be a common occurrence for those who spend much of their day sitting.
On average people in the UK will sit for nearly 9 of their waking hours each day.
· A typical day may include sitting:
· To eat breakfast
· To drive to work
· At your desk at work
· To drive home
· To eat dinner
· During the evening to do things such as watch television, use a computer and socialise.
Sitting for prolonged periods of time can worsen our mood, making us prone to low mood and poor concentration and focus. It has also been directly linked to an increase in future health problems such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance, which can lead to type II diabetes.
But did you know by making a small change to your day to day behaviour, sitting less can really help lift your mood and more importantly improve your long term health.
Here's some tips to get your started. A lot of it is common sense, but it is surprising how many of us don't think about doing some of these simple changes in our day to day lives.
· Stand up frequently and move around
· If sat watching TV, stand up during the adverts
· Take phone calls standing up
· Take the stairs instead of a lift or elevator
· If at work, walk to a colleague's desk instead of emailing them
By just making some of these simple changes in your day to day behaviour can really benefit your health and wellbeing.
Benefits can include:
· Feeling more positive, alert and more awake
· Burning between 50-60 calories an hour
· Relieving back and shoulder pain
· Promoting healthier joints and spine
· Adding years to your life
It is important to note, however, that sitting for long periods of times is not the same as being physically inactive. Someone who is considered to be sat for long periods of times is different to someone who is considered physically inactive.
Hence, someone who is physically active for the recommended 150 minutes a week could still be sitting for long periods of time each day. For example someone who works all day sat down at a desk.
If you've read this far, why not give it a go and stand up for yourself and your health.
If you would like further information, please consult the 'helpful links' section on this page.
Physical activity can help prevent and manage a variety of health conditions and improve how you look and feel on a daily basis.
The potential benefits of physical activity to health are huge. If a medication existed that had a similar effect, it would be regarded as a wonder drug or miracle cure.
Chief Medical Officer, 2009
Physical inactivity is a major health risk and one of the main causes of ill health in the UK.
The more active or fit you are the lower your risk of heart disease.
The more physical activity you do, the greater the benefit.
Being active can help you sleep better, have more energy and feel more relaxed.
You burn 50 more calories an hour when standing than when sitting.
Walking is the perfect exercise: it's free, convenient and easy!
Did you know that you burn the same amount of calories if you walk a mile as you do to run a mile?
The benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt, so doing a little is far better than doing nothing.
Spending too much time sitting puts your health at risk.
It's never too late to start. Whatever your age, being active will help you keep healthy.
Move more, sit less. Sitting for long periods is not good for health so build in breaks when you stand or move.
Getting started is easier than you think. Changing a few daily habits can soon add up to a more active lifestyle.
Adults need to be active for at least 150 minutes each week. Try to be active every day.
Sitting down for hours - at work, watching TV or playing on the computer increases your risk of poor health.
Almost 8 out of 10 adults believe they are active enough to benefit their health, but the truth is only 4 out of 10 men and 3 out of 10 women are active enough.
Finding ways to reduce time you spend sitting can be your first step to being more active.
You can expect to see short-term benefits within weeks of starting to be more active.