SWB on the Trouble with Sitting

It’s just one of those miserable facts that sitting down, along with most other things which give us pleasure, is bad for us.  When I’m teaching, despite my best efforts, I can spend quite a bit of time behind a desk. On days when I write, (which means trying to articulate my thoughts but mostly hovering my forefinger over the delete button) I’m aware I can spend a long time on my backside. But now, to add insult to injury, I find that all this sitting will be a contributing factor to early death. Life’s a laugh a minute these days, isn’t it?

So what CAN you do to boost the step count when you want to transition from desk to sofa, bypassing a jog or the gym?

This is where you need a CHEAT SHEET, consisting of a few ideas for a quick energy-burning fix.  I’ve mentioned this before, but I find dancing helps. This can also be a mood booster – ask Alexa for your tune of choice then throw some serious shapes for three minutes. Lately I’ve enjoyed getting my groove on to Vampire by Olivia Rodrigo. This activity can be prolonged by asking a child to spouse to choose a song too. What fun and hijinks.

Move with Ash is an influencer I follow, who shows that less is more, if we incorporate more movement into our daily lives. I thought of her recently while standing in a queue in Dunnes buying leggings for my child. I hadn’t cooled down after a (short) run so took the opportunity to stretch my quads, by standing on one leg. Granted, I got a few funny looks, but I did it anyway.

If I’m feeling fraught, I quite like to be soothed and mollycoddled, especially after a day’s work. For this reason I fire up a YouTube and do a short video by Brett Larkin and Yoga with Adriene. You won’t necessarily increase your step count, but I can’t emphasise enough how good this stretching feels after a day hunched over a computer.

The French call it ‘Les cent petits pas’ which translates as ‘the hundred small steps’ and in a nutshell, means taking the stairs instead of the escalator or walking to the shops instead of jumping in the car. On Friday I went to the Ulster Museum to see the Royal Academy Of Art exhibition and I thought of this as I climbed the stairs up to the fourth floor. It was worth every step.

Should you want to go for the nuclear option, to reduce your sedentary time, might I suggest getting a dog? In the evenings, I do LOVE a good bit of sofa-time and the dog is my trusty companion in this activity. But, before that, I have to walk her. Upon coming home from work, the last thing I want to do if I’m honest is start trudging up and down the hill where we reside. But, once I’m out and taking the air, I find I don’t mind quite so much, especially with my earphones in, listening to BBC Sounds. Might I recommend some amazing shows and podcasts for your delectation:

Histories Secret Heroes with Helena Bonham-Carter,

Lifechanging with Dr Sian Williams,

People Who Knew Me with Rosamunde Pike

It’s sadly a given that we all have to fit in exercise somehow, but it needn’t be too painful with any of the above suggestions. Do share any of your strategies with me about how to keep fit when you’re time poor. (Or just can’t be arsed.)


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