Do you ever have one of those days where you feel crummy and don’t get much done? I have a brilliant trick that I use to solve this problem myself. Improve your day by getting more done and being healthier at the same time. You won’t believe how simple this is.
I consider myself to be a pretty smart person. I mean, I’m not a genius, but I know what’s what. And I’m pretty healthy. More of less. Something I’ve struggled with for a long time though, is that when I sit down at the computer to write, I just get sucked in. I look up and three hours have passed. I’ve accomplished a lot, but I also sat without moving for three hours. Not healthy. Finally, I figured out how to solve that problem and ended up solving another issue at the same time.
Why sitting is bad
There are several studies – check out this TED video or read this Huffington Post story – that highlight the fact that a sedentary lifestyle is unhealthy. We all know that exercise is important, but it seems to be that 30 minutes of yoga or jogging does not cancel out six hours of sitting at a desk.
- Weight gain
- Slower metabolism
- Heart disease
- Back pain
For me personally, the biggest health concern is circulation. I’m slim and naturally colder. When I sit and write for an hour, especially in the winter, my hands get cold and my feet get really cold. As in, discolored and tingly.
I’ve tried a lot of things that were helpful, but not perfect: wearing house slippers, sitting near a heater, using a heating pad. Those are only short term solutions though. The real solution is getting up and moving so my blood circulates better.
How to sit less
As a general, non-medical-advice rule, getting up from the desk or computer or whatever every 30 minutes or so is good. Of course, being more active in general is better, but if most of your sitting is job-related, there isn’t a lot that you can change there.
Plan more movement into your daily routine.
If you work from home, alternate between sitting tasks and other tasks. I try to spread out my chores and projects so that I’m not doing all my desk work in one block.
My brilliant trick
Okay, so you’re probably wondering when I’m going to stop rambling and just tell you the trick. Or maybe you just scrolled down.
This is easy. Drink more water. It will instantly improve your day.
Get yourself a reusable cup or bottle and keep it at your desk. If you are drinking the recommended amount of water, you will be getting up to go to the bathroom more often.
Sidebar: You might not need 8 glasses of water per day. Take your weight in pounds and divide it by two. That’s the number of ounces of water you should be drinking. If you’re coming up just shy of that amount, remember that you get some water from coffee, juice, and fresh produce.
But I don’t like water, you say…
Here’s where I’m going to solve a second issue and really improve your day.
I have a small distraction problem. If you peeked over my shoulder on an average day, you’d probably see half a dozen or so tabs open on my desktop. I tend to keep my email and Facebook open so I don’t miss a thing.
That really kind of sucks for productivity though. When I really need to stay on-task, I use the water as a solution. Every time I feel the “need” to compulsively click over to Facebook, I take a drink of water instead.
I do it so mindlessly sometimes that instead of wasting an hour on Facebook, I’ve finished off 16 ounces of water.
Drink water. Move more. Be more productive.
I can’t solve most of the world’s problems, but this one is done.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. This post shouldn’t replace the advice of your physician.