Just Move!

First published 14th Oct, 2022

You may have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking” but are confused as to what it actually means? For a long time, cigarette smoking was one of the biggest health challenges we faced. These days, people are a lot more aware of the dangers of smoking and have stopped. But what are we doing more and more of? You guessed it…sitting. We sit in our cars to get to work. We sit at our desks. We sit in our cars to get home. And then we sit in front of the TV. 

Why Is Sitting Such a Bad Thing?

People that sit for prolonged periods every day are more likely to become obese and to suffer from chronic illnesses such as  type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. This cluster of conditions is called metabolic syndrome and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Tips To Move More and Sit Less at Work

But the reality is a lot of us work a job that requires us to be seated for extended periods of time. There are some ways to get around this though: 

  • Set a timer for every 30 minutes. When the timer goes off stand up and walk around your office. If you can’t walk around take your shoes off and just rise up onto your toes and then rock back on your heels repeatedly.
  • If you need to speak to a colleague, don’t send an email. Get up and walk over to their desk or their office.
  • Place your waste paper basket on the other side of the room. When you need to toss something, stand up and walk over to it.
  • You may even be able to talk your boss into a standing desk. They are not that expensive and they are certainly cheaper than constantly sick employees. And if you work for yourself, any investment in your health is a good investment.
  • Use your lunch hour for a walk. Even a brisk 10 minute walk has benefits.

If you are at home taking care of the house or children then it is really easy to keep moving. Housework, tending to the garden, running after young children and walking the dog all count!

Walk for Fitness and Good Health

If you are just starting out in your fitness journey, the best way to get moving is to set yourself a step goal. There are loads of fitness watches under R1000 out there.
Start with a goal of 5000 steps per day and keep a journal to record your progress. 
Break the task down – take three 10-minute walks during the day and then try and move as much as possible at the office or working in the house. See what you clock up and adjust accordingly.

You can increase your goal after a while, little by little, until walking regularly is something you enjoy. You may find you lose weight and you will certainly feel better and have more energy. Walking regularly reduces the risks of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and heart disease.

Move Together!

And on weekends, especially if you have children, move outdoors as much as possible. A picnic with a walk in a nice park, frisbee in the garden, lawn cricket, walk the dog together or kick a ball.

You get the idea – all movement is good. It does not have to be constrained to a gym. Involve your family, your dogs, your friends and just move!


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