6 Ways to Spend Less Time Sitting

Today’s challenge for Monday, March 7: Make a stand. Just sitting there could be bad for your health.

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Desk jobs, lengthy commutes and TV time are just a few reasons you probably spend several hours a day in a chair. But new data shows that women who spend at least a quarter of their day on their feet are less likely to carry around excess pounds. “Being upright may naturally encourage movement and burn more calories,” explains Amaris Bradley, MPH, RD, senior manager of partnerships at Partnership for a Healthier America. Get more active—or simply give your chair and couch a rest—with these tips.

At Work. Set an alarm on your watch or phone to go off every hour. “That’s your reminder to get up and walk around for a few minutes, do some squats or even drop to the floor for a few sets of push-ups,” suggests Jen Mueller, certified health coach and personal trainer for SparkPeople.com. You might also pace while on a conference call, hold a standing or walking meeting, or simply read a memo on your feet. “Small bursts of activity can give you a boost of energy, release stress and increase your activity all day long,” says Mueller.

At Home. “If you like to sit on the couch in the evening, create a workout to do during the commercial breaks of your favorite TV show. Try some strength exercises, march in place or ride your exercise bike,” suggests Mueller.

Anywhere. Wear an activity tracker. “It can be a simple, inexpensive, but highly motivational tool,” explains Mueller. “Set a step goal to work toward and you’ll find that seeing those numbers go up throughout the day encourages you to move more.”

Family Circle tapped the Partnership for a Healthier America to help bring you this easy—and fun—wellness challenge. Post a picture of your shoes while standing today, March 7, 2016, on our Facebook pages or Twitter feeds with the hashtag #14DayChallenge and you could win a prize! No purchase necessary. Open to legal U.S. residents, 18+. See rules for complete details.

Photo Credit: Kevin Miyazaki