Stop and Stand

If you’re reading this right now, stop and stand up. Give your body a stretch because you deserve and need it.

Many people don’t realise that sitting for long periods in the day can increase your risk of chronic health conditions, weight gain, weaken your muscles and affect your mental health. Which is why it is important to do less sitting or lying and more standing and moving, even a simple stretch goes a long way.

Standing and stretching is a natural instinct. Think about when you wake up in the morning after sleeping for hours, how often do you stretch your arms, legs or back. Guess what, you just stretched, why? Because your body had been sedentary for too long and stretching helped your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, prevented injury and increased your mobility. You don’t have to do much to stretch but taking some time before and after exercise and throughout your day helps.

Here are some simple ways you can stretch in your day. Try to aim for 20 seconds each.
  • tilt your head side to side
  • put your chin on your chest and then head upright
  • move your shoulders up towards your ears and down
  • grab your hands behind your back and push your chest out
  • spread your fingers out wide and in again
  • lunge side to side
Here are some simple ways you stand or move more.
  • Leave your phone in a place where you have to stand up and walk to grab it
  • Do a little happy dance every time you achieve something in the day
  • Download free aps that track and prompt you or set yourself an alarm (especially if you know you’ll be sitting for a long period)
  • When the ad breaks come onto the TV stand and move
  • Walk and talk when on the phone
  • Join a daily walk or movement group
  • Take the stairs over the elevator

Start off with making a small change and gradually increase the amount of times you stand or how long you stand for. Ideally you should be wanting to stand at least hourly. But please know your limits and consult with your health professional to ensure you’re doing what’s safe for you. Also, if you’re able to, try and invest in getting a pair of tailored orthotic shoes, they’re designed to support your weight and allow you to stand or move for longer before those aches creep in.

So, whether you’re at work or at home, stop and stand up more! Don’t forget to involve your colleagues, friends or loved ones because chances are they need it too.