December 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm
Don’t take this news sitting down: Being sedentary for more than three hours a day can decrease your life expectancy by two years, says a new study. “However, by boosting the amount of time you spend standing, you may not only live longer but also ward off back pain and burn more calories,” says Anup Kanodia, M.D., an assistant professor of clinical family medicine at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. Your goal: to get up for at least five minutes every half hour. Use these tips to stay on your feet.
- Pay bills in the kitchen. Leave your laptop on the counter, recommends Dr. Kanodia. Taking care of bills, emailing friends and spending time on Pinterest provide plenty of opportunities to be upright. Avoid foot, lower back and joint pain with an anti-fatigue mat (GelPro, gelpro.com, from $42).
- Cut back on television. Limit time spent watching TV on the couch to less than two hours a day and you’ll add 1.4 years to your life. (You can always swap the sofa for a treadmill.)
- Use a timer. Set a reminder on your smartphone to take breaks throughout the day, says Dr. Kanodia. When the alarm rings, do a few laps around the house or office before returning to your tasks. You can also receive alerts by downloading the free program at workrave.org to your computer.
- Stand when someone calls. Every time the phone rings, rise to the occasion when you answer, Dr. Kanodia suggests. Soon, it’ll be a habit.
Burn fat at the office: Using a treadmill desk at work can do more than cut down on chair time. A 40-year old woman can burn 155 calories during a 60-minute stroll.