A multi-ethnic study of 4,757 U.S. adults in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that those who took the most daily breaks from sitting had, on average, a smaller waist circumference, fewer blood fats and reduced markers for insulin resistance than those who took the fewest breaks. The researcher also noted increased levels of C-reactive protein in the bodies of sedentary subjects, which is linked to inflammation and many chronic diseases, even in people who regularly exercise. -From Natural Awakenings publication Source: European Society of Cardiology
To get moving at work: Stand up to take phone calls and during meetings; walk and talk meetings; walk to visit a colleague, rather than phoning or emailing; use a bathroom on a different floor; centralize trash and recycling bins and office equipment to encourage short trips during the work day; take the stairs; and park at the far end of the lot.
And create a standing workstation, but don’t just stand there. And please don’t stand there while wearing shoes with heels!
Hey wait a minute, there is a PC user on my Mac! (That’s my husband stretching his calves-he gives me a hard time about my Mac, but he secretly wants one)
This is how I get my Restorative Exercises™ in while at my standing workstation, I stretch my foot over a ball working all areas of the foot letting my foot melt over the ball…ahhhh feels good! Added bonus toe stretch while wearing Correct Toes™. If you try this, go slow and listen to your body, especially if you have been wearing casts on your feet (shoes) for most of your life.
Pelvic lists- I stand on one foot on a Yoga Block or ground and push into the ground with my standing leg to clear the other foot from the floor by using the glutes and lateral hip muscles of the standing leg, holding for a minute or more. Feel the burn. See my video on how to do the pelvic list here and why it’s important.
My husband asked me to let you know that the feet in the images are not his- his feet are much more manly.
Make a stone mat. I love, love, love how this feels. It’s a reflexology treatment while you work. I made this one for $22 from eight bags of river stone from the Dollar Tree store and a $14 Boot Tray.
You could glue them to a plastic mat, but I didn’t want to deal with the smell of glue, plus I liked the idea of the stones moving under my feet. I also like to practice picking the stones up with my toes, a great way to work the intrinsic foot muscles. If you have small children, you may want to glue the stones to a mat otherwise, they may swallow, steal, or put them up their nose.
By the way, standing on stones may be too intense for those who have been wearing shoes most of their lives, so listen to your body and go slow if you try this. It’s always best to make gradual changes. I started by transitioning into minimal shoes and walking barefoot on the earth, and doing Restorative Exercises™ for my feet. When I’m on my stone mat, I move my feet around frequently varying the position and pressure points.
You can also buy a cobblestone mat. This one looks cool.
I’m also a fan of the Topo Mat. The Topo mat might be a better choice in an office situation. Check out the video below for a few ways I like to use the mat. I love it because it subconsciously keeps you moving.
Don’t forget the hands. Stretch the fingers now and then on your desk or the floor to give yourself a break from the claw hands.
Take a video tour of my dynamic workstation here.