Did you know the average American spends only 3 hours a day actively moving? That's right, between commuting, work or school, eating, relaxing, and sleeping, we spend an average of 21 hours each day either sitting or lying down. That kind of excessively inactive lifestyle is very hard on our bodies. So, what can we do to improve our daily activity levels? Active standing is an excellent method for improving your almost sedentary lifestyle.
Anything that requires constant micro-adjustments to your balance is considered active sitting or active standing. Whether it's sitting on a balance ball or stool or standing on a standing desk balance board or anti-fatigue standing desk mat, the subconscious movement produced increases your activity level throughout the day. Unlike simply sitting, active sitting or active standing keeps blood flowing throughout your body. This helps fight fatigue and improve overall productivity.
They may only be micro-movements, but those tiny movements have huge health benefits! Muscle tension builds up in muscles that aren't being used regularly. Active standing and active sitting help release that built-up muscle tension by causing your weight to shift and muscles to contract. Those muscle contractions also keep blood flowing properly throughout your body.
That improved blood flow has many benefits, such as better mental alertness, improved concentration and focus, and fewer aches and pains. Those micro-movements throughout the day can even improve the quality of your sleep!
For optimal health and productivity at work, alternate between sitting and standing. You may want to set a timer and change positions every hour or so. Your goal should be to spend approximately one-third of your day actively standing and two-thirds of it actively sitting.
Roll a small tennis ball under your foot to stretch your ankles to improve the blood flow from your feet upward.
Practice leg straighteners while sitting on the edge of your chair. Lift one leg at a time and hold it straight about 3 inches above the floor for about 10 seconds. This helps improve your hip and knee stability and increases circulation throughout the lower part of your body.
Lastly, do back extensions to improve your posture while stretching and strengthening your back and core muscles.
At Gaiam, we offer the various active standing accessories that you will need to make active standing and active sitting an enjoyable, and healthy, part of your daily routine. Browse our selection today to find the right accessories to make your workday more comfortable and productive!