I want to emphasize how important it is to stay active.

Not just playing catch once a week, but making it part of your routine to get up and move around more often.

So many jobs these days are done in front of a computer, and more of us are finding that we are leading a sedentary lifestyle.

This can lead to a lot of health issues, as I’ll discuss in a minute.  But this is important because good physical health is a pre-requisite to thriving in other areas (since physical health supports mental health).

If you don’t feel healthy, you won’t feel up for a lot of the tasks that you know you need to do (like making a budget, for instance).  You’ll have less energy for productivity in general, and you’ll spend more time dealing with health issues later on.

So wouldn’t it be worth it to adjust your daily routine to facilitate better health?


Decide it’s Worth the Effort

If your job keeps your tail in a chair all day, here are 7 reasons to motivate you to shake things up:

  • The more you sit, the more likely you are to develop a chronic disease – Source
  • Inactivity can be as hazardous to your health as smoking – Source
  • Low levels of activity contribute to the high prevalence of obesity – Source
  • Being sedentary leads to back tension and poor posture – Source
  • Being constantly desk-bound may negatively affect glucose levels and increase insulin resistance – Source 
  • Your calorie-burning rate while sitting is a third of what it is when walking – Source 
  • Extended periods of sitting can lead to blood clots (i.e., deep vein thrombosis) – Source

Okay, I’m going to take a break to stand up, stretch, and walk around a bit.
Alright, I’m back.  Hopefully you took the opportunity to move around as well.


Simple Changes Make a Difference

The studies I referenced above concluded that small changes in your level of activity can make a difference.  Here are 9 simple changes you can make to be less sedentary:

  • Use part of your lunch break to walk around your complex or office building.
  • Stop eating lunch at your desk.  Schedule your lunch break on your calendar if you have to — just make sure you are taking a break and you are going (hopefully walking) somewhere else to buy and eat food.
  • If you must stay seated, fidgeting (such as bouncing your legs) can actually help counteract the effects of sitting.  You’ll be burning more calories and keeping your metabolism working.
  • If fidgeting is too unprofessional for your workplace, periodically flex each of the muscles in your legs.  This can help prevent blood clots.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
  • Ask your manager about trying a stand-up meeting.
  • Install a program like Big Stretch to remind you to take breaks from sitting.
  • Watch less TV at home (find a more active hobby).
  • Get up and walk to your co-worker’s desk to talk to them in person (instead of always sending an email or instant message).

These little adjustments to your daily habits can help fight against the negative effects of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.  So make sure you don’t forget to use them — you’ll be glad you did!