As outlined in this image by the National Heart Foundation, Australians are spending more time sitting which has been directly linked to an increase in health problems including obesity, diabetes and coronary heart disease. Long periods of sitting also increase your risk of developing common musculo-skeletal problems including lower back pain, chronic neck pain and poor posture. Unfortunately our changing way of life, in particular with advances in technology, encourage more sitting and less movement throughout the day. The good news is that even with regular short amounts of movement, you can greatly reduce your risk of serious health problems.
The Australian Government’s current recommendations for physical activity include a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week. With Exercise Right week coming up (May 25th-May 31st 2015) how can you increase the amount of exercise you’re doing each week, and reduce the amount of time sitting throughout the day? Through implementing some simple changes to your day to day activities you can greatly reduce your risk of injury and illness, as well as increase your energy and overall productivity and well-being.
Some simple changes you could make to your day include:
- Stand or take a 1-2 minute walk every 30-60 minutes if working at a computer all day
- If possible, use a height adjustable desk so you can stand while working for some part of your working day
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day which will help with hydration and going to the toilet more frequently and therefore having to get up and walk
- Get off public transport one stop earlier or leave your car 10-20 minute walk away from work
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
For more information on how you can increase your movement or find a health professional to help you, you can chat to your Myotherapist at Elite Myotherapy or visit the websites of IRMA, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA), National Heart Foundation, Exercise is Medicine Australia, and the Australian Government for current physical activity guidelines for Australians.
By Mark Kelly – Elite Myotherapist