With computers at the center of our lives, both when it comes to work and entertainment, we tend to spend a lot of time sitting in front of a screen. Whether at work or at home, a recent study shows that adults devote approximately 10 hours a day to screen time. This means that most of the day we hardly move, and this lifestyle is not good for us. Although it might be hard to completely change our routines or to stop using computers, we can at least tackle our sedentariness by adjusting just a few things.
Unless the jobs we do demand constant interaction with people or using our bodies in the case dancers or sports players — which doesn’t count for those into mental sports, who must also find alternative ways to do physical exercise — then we have to make time to move something else than our heads and hands. Most of the people that spend many hours in front of a screen end up experiencing back problems, weight gain and general discomfort.
Luckily, there are a couple of basic exercises we can do in front of our computers that will help us stay fit and healthy. We can, for instance, build leg muscle by simply raising our heels with our toes, and if we remember to do 40 repetitions a day, we will soon notice the positive effects on our leg strength.
Other exercises that can be done during a short break in front of our PCs include crunches, making leg extensions or even doing a couple of push-ups by bending our knees, sitting on the edge of our chairs and grabbing the sides with our hands to then lift our bodies. It is also important to sit correctly, which will have a huge effect on our body and sight.
In addition to this, we can add some cardiovascular exercise to our routines. Try walking instead of grabbing a cab or driving to places, or ride a bike if the city you live in is bicycle-friendly. If you work in an office, avoid having lunch in front of your computer and find a nice outdoor spot nearby so that you can also get some sunlight and the necessary vitamin D to stay healthy.
You can also try to work standing up at times, as many offices have currently integrated stand-up stations to make this possible. If you work at home, just find a spot that is tall enough for you to work that way, at least half of the time. Also, keep in mind that there might be things you don’t need to do on a computer — like shopping or chatting, try calling people once in a while.
Our bodies were not designed to be idle and lack of movement is very unhealthy for us given that it causes muscular and heart problems in addition to slowing down our metabolism. It is also unrealistic to talk about leaving screens out of our lives, but we do have the power to control the amount of time we devote to them. Think about ending your workday and going for a walk, a yoga class or a swim instead of heading home to watch a TV series or a film. You’ll soon see the difference, and not only will you start feeling fitter and more energetic, but possibly even happier considering that exercise stimulates the production of serotonin in our bodies. So, what are you waiting for?