Do you get back pain when sitting? Sitting around as much as we do as a society is unhealthy for our bodies and minds. It’s bad for us, yet 50-70% of us spend at least 6 hours a day sat down. Whether you’re at your desk or in a car sometimes it can’t be helped. This typical sedentary lifestyle is damaging and can drastically increase the risk of disease including the likelihood of developing diabetes and even cancer. Here are a few ways that people are warding off this inactive lifestyle.
One of the most extreme fight backs to this dreaded sedentary lifestyle has come from the neighbourhood of Haenggung-dong in South Korea. As part of their green initiative the whole area got rid of their cars for a whole month. People were pushed into using bikes, scooters and any other mode of transport to get them out of their cars.
A school in America has figured out a way to keep students active over a long day whilst boosting their brain power. Sedentary lifestyles are often attributed to office workers. But being at school also makes for long days of being sat at a desk, shuffling through paper work and waiting for the bell to ring.
An easy and fun fix has been introduced to some classrooms in America. Desks are out and exercise bikes are in. ‘Read and ride’ is a programme that has been introduced in which students sit on exercise bikes whilst they read. It's fairly simple but quite effective.
After analysing data at the end of the school year it was found that students who chose to spend the most amount of time pedalling whilst perusing literature achieved an 83% proficiency in reading. This is much higher than students who spent the least amount of time in the programme, who had a 41% level of reading proficiency. Keeping your mind and body occupied advances learning whilst keeping you fit and healthy.
Other methods of warding off a sedentary lifestyle have been employed in offices all over the world. Technogym headquarters encourage all of their employees to spend the work day sitting on wellness balls. The pressure of sitting in a chair can cause discomfort to your lower back. Replacing a hard office chair with an exercise ball every once in a while helps to improve posture and eases back pain when sitting as well as relieving shoulder tension.
Another inventive workplace sedentary solution is moving around whilst you work. When you take a meeting why not try a walk and talk? It will get you moving and can also help get your creative juices flowing.
When you've been sitting at your desk incorporate some leg raises on the hour every hour to keep your blood flowing. It's a simplified 'ride and read' scheme for the work place. Maybe not quite as fun, but still more effective than sitting in the same position all day.
Even jumping on an exercise bike during your lunch break helps to reduce the toils that a workday puts on your body. This all adds up to a strong business case for work places to provide gyms for their employees. Stopping sluggish behaviour in any way will be beneficial in your day to day life as well as improving your long term health.
Photo Credits: fastcoexist.com, www.telegraph.co.uk, readandride.org