Stand More, Sit Less!

Sitting is killing us. You’ve heard it, I’ve heard it, we’ve all heard it and as we sit here reading these words, it’s happening and it’s true. Here’s the shocking truth about sitting: After just 30 minutes of sitting, your metabolism has slowed 90%. That fact is so horrid it bears repeating.


A 90% metabolic slow down is as bad as it sounds. And it feels bad too. Sitting has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and depression along with muscle and joint problems. And we sit a lot! In fact we sit an average of 13 hours a day. Combine that with an average 8 hours of sleep and we have a day filled with being sedentary. What’s a person to do?

Stand more, sit less is the best place to start. Take that simple principal and apply it to as many hours of your day as you possibly can. Here’s how in three simple steps:

  1. Stand up and walk every 30 minutes. Set a timer for 30 minutes and when it goes off, stand up and walk briskly for at least 5 minutes. This simple activity will reset your metabolism and refresh your thinking.
  2. Stand up for specific activities. For instance, when you’re making a phone call, stand up. When you’re using a tablet or smart phone to search for information, stand up. When you’re organizing your desk, stand up. When you’re meeting with a colleague, have a walk and talk meeting.
  3. Stand at your computer at work. For the vast majority of us, work consists of sitting in front of a computer. Some of us are in home offices, some have private or shared offices or office space at their place of business, and some of us are working in cubicles. Each of those work environments presents its own opportunities and challenges. If your work environment presents overwhelming challenges to standing at your computer, make sure to break up your sitting with the two suggestions above. If, however, your work environment has some flexibility, try placing your computer at a good height for you to “test drive” how it feels to stand and work. Click this LINK to help you determine your the ideal height, then figure out how you’ll raise your computer. I recently surveyed a group of author/entrepreneurs on the subject and was blown away with their creativity. One journalist uses her recycling container, wine crates have been called in to action (empty I’m assuming), others reported using inverted trash cans, and upended coolers. The main idea here is to raise your computer to a good height and try standing and working. My personal “standing desk” is a large box placed on a table in my office.

Practicing these three steps means you’ll be standing more and sitting less, which in turn means you’re taking much better care of yourself and that is always great!