In the UK, many of our daily habits promote a sedentary lifestyle, we have an inactive culture of working and living. Most people drive or take public transport to get places quicker, when they could probably walk at least part of the way. Maybe you take the lift rather than the stairs to meetings in order to fit more meetings into our day and then the socially accepted way to conduct the meeting is from a chair.
We often bring these patterns into our personal lives too, often driving the short trip to the gym where we go on the bike, treadmill or rower. Maybe you load the dog into the car to go to a nearby field for a walk so that you can fit more activities into your day, juggling work, family life and personal responsibilities. We want it all and will find a way of doing it!
In striving for a more efficient life, we’ve inadvertently created debilitating environments and debilitating lifestyles which minimise physical effort. We sit travelling, we sit working, we sit meeting, you’re likely to be sitting down whilst reading this now. (Feel free to stand now you’ve noticed.)
Have you overridden your own instincts to move, carried in order to fit in with social norms?
We’ve built our lifestyles to become more comfortable, efficient and safer. But is this true? Is you daily inactivity habit really helping you to feel comfortable?
Consider these questions:
How does you back feel when your been sitting all day? Do you get tension headaches from prolonged periods of screen use?
Is cramming your day full of meetings helping you make progress in your work? Because often information overload can be distracting, keeping you stuck and inhibiting your progress.
Does your daytime ‘energy saving’ sitting mode impact on your gains at the gym? Because often it impinges on your mobility and increases the risk of injury.
Does the stairs or going outside in the natural environment really pose a bigger risk than walking in high heels? Or are we being a little dramatic?
Can we trust our employees to go outside? Because often anxiety and control issues are holding people back and negatively affecting team morale at work.
How does all these daily routines help you to sleep at night? Because they often effect people’s ability to switch off, their energy levels, their general health and their happiness.
Interesting to consider the long term effects of a sedentary lifestyle and whether inactivity is the choice behaviour to engage in if you want to be more productive and fit for work.
Many people say, they can’t move at work or at home, but I would argue that most of this is habit and culture. I want you to realise that you always have choice. If you are motivated to be fitter and healthier in body and mind and there are opportunities all around. Your home is a great place to start and it’s surprising when you get started how you see other opportunities for change elsewhere.
Start by looking through your day and see how you can mobilise yourself more. There are always challenges and reasons but there are no excuses. If health is important to you, then movement really needs to matter.