Sit less and move more
Modern day life means it’s never felt easier to get to the end of the day and realise you’ve been sat down for most of it.
People are less active nowadays, partly because technology has made our lives easier. We drive cars or take public transport. Machines wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of a TV or computer screen. Fewer people are doing manual work, and most of us have jobs that involve little physical effort. Work, house chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less demanding than for previous generations.
We move around less and burn off less energy than people used to. Research suggests that many adults spend more than seven hours a day sitting down, at work, on transport or in their leisure time. People aged over 65 spend 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.
Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a “silent killer”. Evidence is emerging that sedentary behaviour, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, is bad for your health. Not only should you try to raise your activity levels, but you should also reduce the amount of time you and your family spend sitting down.
Finding ways to be more active can start with reducing the amount of time we spend sitting down – get up, stretch your legs and do more steps each day.
Take the stairs whenever you can and go on a brisk walk to the shops instead of driving.
If you work at a computer most days, try getting up to talk to a colleague instead of an email, or make a cup of tea for your team.
Spending hours watching television is not good for our bodies so why not swap the living room for the garden? Gardening is a great way of getting outdoors and being active – you could even have fun growing your own veggies too!
Surprise the dog by taking it for a walk twice a day or a much longer walk than usual – you’ll both benefit!
Try going for a brisk walk in the park or a bike ride, or even dancing to the radio. If you’re looking for some great places to take a walk, why not try local nature and wildlife reserves such as Cuckoo’s Hollow in Werrington, Thorpe Wood Woodlands or the Stanground Wash.
Maybe clean the car by hand yourself using a bucket and sponge, rather than taking it to the car wash. Good for you and your wallet and you could even get the kids to help!
For young adults there are a number of skate parks and BMX tracks open to the public at all times, some are nationally recognised facilities attracting riders from all over the country.
For most of us, daily chores such as shopping or housework don't count towards your activity target. This is because your body doesn't work hard enough to get your heart rate up.
Click on the links below for ideas on building more activity into your life:
Check out Amazon's One You Health Hub where you can find products to help you live a healthier lifestyle, whether that's getting you more active, tracking your health or getting a better night's sleep.