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Sit less. Sounds easy, but how?

Are you sitting down? Probably. After all, the average American sits for nearly 8 hours a day.1 Between watching TV and using a computer, talking on the phone, eating, riding a bus or train, being in meetings or working at a desk, time spent sitting really adds up.

We keep hearing suggestions to sit less, and it's good advice. After all, sitting around isn't good for your weight or burning blood sugar,1 nor is it doing your back or neck any favors. But recognizing a good idea and making it happen are two different things.

Here are some thoughts about how to sit less in the new year:

  • Stand in the back. Kids programs at school? Weekly status meeting? Waiting for a ride? Don't even take a seat.
  • Set a timer. If you're on a computer all day, have your phone remind you every half-hour or hour to get up and move around. Even if it's just a few minutes of stepping or stretching, your body will thank you.
  • Walk through commercials. You don't want to watch them anyway—take the opportunity to straighten up the room, walk around the house, check on the kids or your partner, or fill a glass of water.
  • Get mobile on the phone. Walk while you talk, even if it's just around the room.
  • Transport yourself. Take the stairs (especially down). If you take a bus, get off a stop early and walk. Park farther away from the shop.

Any of these sound doable? Pick one to try today, and add more as you master them. Now get up and get moving!

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1Youngwon K and Welk G. Characterizing the context of sedentary lifestyles in a representative sample of adults: a cross-sectional study from the physical activity measurement study project. BMC Public Health. 2015;15:1218. Available at: Accessed December 16, 2016.

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