Take a Break

teenage friendsA study from Columbia University Medical Center has found that regular movement every half hour could help limit the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and that exercise is not enough to ward off the risks of sitting still for long periods of time.

The British Chiropractic Association has some great advice for desk hoggers and couch potatoes.
– Get off your bus/train/tube a stop earlier and walk if possible.
– Don’t sit at your desk, table or on the sofa for more than 30-40 minutes; stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.
– Set goals to encourage you to get away and take propers breaks a step monitor would work well for this.
– Look for small opportunities to exercise during the day; use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, walk on those local errands etc.
– Set up you working area to optimise to care for your . Your seat should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground, your knees bent, but with a slope from your hips to your knees. You should end up with your hips higher than your knees and your eyes level with the top of the computer screen. You may need to put the screen on a stand or even on a ream of paper to bring it to the right height. Relax when sitting into your chair, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back with your shoulder blades are touching the back rest of the chair. Arms should be flat and your elbows level with the desk or table you are using. Use a seat with arm rests.
– Drink Up! – Drink at little more water instead of tea, coffee or alcohol; it will be healthier and keep your body hydrated.

The British Chiropractic Association has some simple stretches and exercises that can help strengthen posture. You can also get lots of advice and information about promoting great posture here.