Are you sitting comfortably?

Posted on: 21 September 2016

How long do you spend sitting down each day?

Devon County Council’s Public Health team has launched a new campaign to remind people to sit less, get up and move more during the day.

Sedentary behaviour means sitting still and doing low energy things like sitting working at a desk, using a computer or tablet or driving to work.  So it’s easy to see why many people end up having fairly sedentary lifestyles – in fact around 40% of adults spend six hours or more per day sitting still.  For some people, that increases at the weekend.

Long periods of uninterrupted sedentary behaviour can be harmful for our health, leading to higher risks of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and weight gain.  Even if a person is active, a long time spent sitting still each day may be bad for their health.
So what’s the answer to breaking our sedentary habits?

It’s easy – sit less, get up, and move more!

Frequent movement is just as important for good health as regular physical activity, so it’s good to get up and stretch, take a walk and have a break from being still.

If you are at work:

–  Take a walk in your lunch break
–  Stand instead of sitting when you can – try short periods in meetings, at your desk or while on the phone
–  Walk over to a colleague instead of emailing or phoning
–  Stretch in your chair every half hour
–  Take the stairs instead of the lift
–  Move more on the way to work.  Leave your car at home or drive part of your journey and walk or cycle the rest visit – visit Travel Devon for tips
–  Find out if your employer offers a cycle to work scheme where you can save on the cost of a new bike.

When you are at home:

–  Turn up the music and have a dance
–  While watching TV, stand up and have a stretch in advert breaks
–  Be active with the housework – you can get a good workout sweeping, gardening or washing windows
–  Try balancing or stretching while you brush your teeth or watch TV
–  Go for a walk with a friend – Devon is a great place to be active outdoors.

To find out more, visit the campaign’s website, and use the sitting calculator to see how easily your sedentary time adds up through the day.

Posted in: Health and Wellbeing