We’re all searching for the fountain of youth “ or at least for ways to live longer “ and according to a recent study, we may have found it: standing. Here’s how you can use these findings to add up to two years to your life.
1. Take a walk
Since most of our jobs involve sitting in front of the computers all day, take a little break and move. According to the British Medical Journal, reducing the daily average time people sit to less than three hours would increase U.S. life expectancy by two years “ even if you’re a regular exerciser. What you can do to change this is to scrap that working lunch and take a brief stroll instead “ even if it’s to the office cafeteria or to the coffee shop down the street. Not only will you not be sitting, you’ll be walking (obviously), so you’ll add a little activity into otherwise a low-key day.
2. Walk to work
Walking to work isn’t realistic for everyone, but what you can do is at least park further away or take the stairs to your office. Studies have also shown that there’s a direct correlation between sitting too much and disease, and that being active will help ward off high cholesterol and blood pressure. Even standing in the lunch room can help: since it keeps your blood moving and different muscles working, you’ll avoid the pitfalls of full-time sitting.
3. Read and walk
If there’s nothing you can do to combat the sitting you do at work, use your downtime to stay active while giving your mind a break. A book on a treadmill can go a long way “ especially if you’re not trying to run “ and will keep you active even though you’re relaxing. True, you’re not expected to stand and work at your computer (unless you can “ and in that case, amazing), but even little things like reading or going over reports while standing at the counter will make up for eight or more hours of sitting and typing.
The British Medical Journal was very clear not to imply that you will live less if you sit all day, every day, but life expectancy of the entire U.S. population could increase over time if you didn’t. At the very least, this study is a reminder to exercise, to stay active and to avoid falling into the pitfalls of lazy behavior. Even if it’s not for life expectancy, do it for your heart and your mind.