Hey, let’s do some math! Wait, don’t run away! – I’m talking easy word problems here:
8 hours at work + 8 hours of sleep = 16 hours sitting/lying down per work day. Even if you’re using your stand up desk for half the work day, that’s still at least 12 hours a day of sitting/lying down – and that doesn’t even count leisure time.
Now think about what you do when you get home. Most of us spend our down time driving, eating dinner, watching tv, web surfing, playing video games, or watching movies. In other words: sitting. Research tells us that an hour at the gym isn’t enough to counteract the effects of all that rear-end time. It’s important to incorporate more movement into your day at regular intervals. The concept is called NEAT and you can read more about it here. It doesn’t have to be strenuous activity to be beneficial – working at your stand up desk, walking, cleaning, and even fidgeting count!
Anyhoo, here are some easy ways to make your leisure time NEAT and a little less sloth-like:
- Make dinner instead of ordering in – chopping, stirring, and cleaning count as movement and you can burn a few of those calories you’re about to consume. If you eat out, walk or ride a bike instead of driving there.
- Create a regular after-work or after-dinner activity appointment. Ride bikes, walk the dog, bathe the dog, water the plants, wash the car. Make it fun, so you won’t blow it off.
- If you’re meeting up with friends, try bowling, golfing, or throwing the frisbee at the park instead of sitting in a bar or a movie theater.
- You can still watch tv, just do something else too – walk on the treadmill, fold laundry, stretch, juggle … anything that gets you off the couch.
- Take on a project. Un-clutter a closet or repaint a room. Once you’re done, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.
- Invest in a Wii or Kinect console and play games that involve movement. Trust me, virtual tennis or dancing can be a better workout than going to the gym!
- Listen to an audiobook instead of reading – you can walk, clean, or exercise while enjoying a good book. Multi-tasking!
Remember, if you use your stand up desk as often as possible at work, you can enjoy some guilt-free time on the couch when you get home.