We’re all guilty of not moving as much as we want to — I know I am. Whether it’s spending all Sunday long cozied up in your bed watching rom-coms or getting lost in a project at work for hours on end, we forget to move. This is not a personal problem, but a universal problem that has gotten worse since the birth of technology. I mean why do you think Netflix created the pop-up screen that says “Are you still watching?”. We spend long hours motionless. The statistics on our sedentary habits are daunting. On average, people sit for 12 hours a day, and even if you engage in the doctor-recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week, you are still subject to the negative impacts of too much sitting.
But fear not! There is one thing you can do that is not demanding and yields the most benefits: moving a little bit every hour. That’s right, it’s that simple. Unfortunately, adding long blocks of workout times doesn’t compensate for sitting down all day and all night at a screen. There is a healthier alternative and it’s the most efficient use of a single minute that I’ve ever seen!
I like to take my movement breaks by dancing around my room to tacky pop music, but there are many other ways to take your well-deserved recess. Here are a few of my ideas:
Grab a coffee from a local café
Find a YouTube video of a 2-minute active stretch you can perform
Play some fetch with your dog
Check your mailbox
Get yourself a snack
Take a short walk while giving your mom a call
No matter what it may be, make sure that you are getting up and moving for at least a minute. And trust me, this is not a waste of time, it’s proven to make you more productive at whatever you may be doing that day.
Besides making you more productive, there’s plenty of other perks too. I don’t want to bore you with a list of 20 benefits, but I will name a few:
tones your muscles (isn’t this one crazy?!)
These are some incredible facts for such a relaxed routine change that only requires a reminder and a smidgen of motivation. There’s actually an entire website and campaign that dedicates itself to“educating and influencing people around the world to take action against one of the most unanticipated health threats of our time — our increasingly sedentary lifestyles” (here is the link).
So, living a longer and healthier life may be much simpler than we are led to believe — building small but realistic and beneficial mannerisms to last a lifetime. Again, I’m not talking about encouraging you to run 20 kilometers a day because the truth is that this isn’t workable or attainable for the average person. I’m talking about getting you to move more throughout the day. Because really, whether you’re a gym rat or self-proclaimed couch potato, we all could use more movement in our lives.