It’s true, there’s a lot of sitting going on. If fact, I feel sitting is becoming the new ‘diabetes’ and not the ‘new smoking’ as you may have heard – I have a blog post on this one as I could not agree less with this metaphor.
Just as we are consuming too much sugar – and it’s hard to avoid as it is everywhere, even in places one wouldn’t think – we are sitting far too much, too.
Note that sugar itself isn’t a problem; the body needs it to survive. The problem is how much of it we consume.
Similarly, it isn’t sitting which is the problem, but how much of it we are doing. We are, in fact, designed to sit down (not necessarily on chairs) and the body needs to do it. However, we are doing too much of it and our sedentary culture isn’t helping.
Chairs are everywhere (and everyone will offer you one), and so are lifts and escalators and it’s all very tempting and hard to avoid. But, at the end of the day it is up to you to see these things and start making choices.
Just as we need to pay attention to how much sugar we are consuming, we also need to see how much sitting we are doing. It’s about creating the habit of awareness and disciplining ourselves.
At home, relaxing is as important as moving or not sitting. That may mean reclining in a comfy chair/settee and watching your favourite TV programme or movie with popcorn on the side and in the company of our loved ones and you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.
However, you don’t want to turn into a couch potato. Like lots of things in life, it’s about finding the right balance between what is too much and too little.
So, if you spend 2 hours sitting on your settee, make sure that at some point in the day you spend the same amount of time doing some kind of physical activity.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to have a gym membership – not at all!
There is no need for the ‘the sweat, blood and tears’ kind of exercise, unless that is what you want. Have you seen my view on this in the The Sunday Times? – (link)
Whether you realise it or not, there is a ‘gym’ around you.
Here are a few things you can do during the day that are better than the gym, if you do them daily:
There are countless ways for you to incorporate more movement into your daily life. Use your imagination, look around and create opportunities to move, rather than excuses not to.
If you do some of these movements every single day and some kind of exercise, you won’t need to worry about the time you spend sitting on your settee.
Enjoy your settee moments.
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