“As we all prepare to make, arguably, a few unattainable New Year’s resolutions, let’s stop for a moment to rethink things. Weight loss and time spent at the gym are definitely keepers, but we shouldn’t forget that there are many benefits to adding more low-level physical activities throughout our day too; activities that are also highly beneficial to our health,” Carrie Schmitz, certified health coach and Senior Manager of Human Factors and Ergonomics Research at Ergotron, says.
With the New Year comes a clean slate, which is exciting. “Instead of setting goals that are hard to manage or far from reach, it might be best to set an attainable resolution that you can be legitimately optimistic about, and that can help prepare you for some of the more ambitious resolutions down the road,” Schmitz says. “Low-level physical activities, or “non-exercise” movements, such as leisurely walking, stretching and even fidgeting, have a more positive impact to wellness than most realize.” They are also easy to incorporate into daily life.
Schmitz says that one of the fastest ways to incorporate more movement into your day is to simply stand up. “Standing is a low-level activity that can easily be done at home or in the office,” she says.
The American Heart Association released a statement concluding that there are specific health risks associated with the sitting posture. “In addition, according to an Annals of Internal Medicine study, those who sit for long hours showed a 90 percent higher risk of developing diabetes and an 18 percent higher chance of dying of heart disease or cancer, and 24 percent greater odds of early mortality,” Schmitz explains. “These are alarming findings for those of us who sit at a desk the majority of the day. But fear not, low-level activity is here to help us stay healthy.”
Put exercise on your 2017 list of resolutions, but don’t forget to add “reduce sitting time” and “increase movement” throughout your day. Schmitz says that “standing up is a gateway to more movement, and if you want to do something really healthy for both your mind and body, that is the place to start.”