How to reduce your sedentary activities and get more physically active

Many studies including one from the World Health Organization suggest that inadequate engagement in physical activity during free time makes both adolescents and adults physically inactive.  

On the other hand, they tend to have a sedentary lifestyle, meaning they are likely to sit for a long period of time when they work and when they are indoor.  

This results in a higher chance of developing obesity-related medical conditions, diabetes and heart-related disease.  

Therefore, in this article, we provide you with a guide on how to reduce your sedentary activities and participate in more physical activity for better physical health. 

What does sedentary mean? 

The word “sedentary” is defined as tending to spend much time seated and little physical exercise or somewhat inactive.  

People who have a sedentary lifestyle regularly are seated or lie down in one place for a lengthy period while working at their desk, reading, commuting, watching TV or using their computer or mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets to work or play games.  

The obvious negative consequences of this type of behavior include the development of many chronic medical conditions, for instance, breast cancer, colon cancer, obesity, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even a mental health disorder. 

It is important to know about how active we should be because lack of physical behavior for a prolonged period of time is one of the leading risk factors for death worldwide. 

Youngsters aged 5 to 18 should engage in at least one hour of daily physical activity with moderate to vigorous intensity. They should also take part in more vigorous muscle and bone strengthening activity three times in a given week. 

In the meantime, it is advisable that adults perform at a minimum of 2 hours and a half of moderate degree of aerobic physical exercise in a week. Alternatively, they should perform at a minimum of 1 hour and a quarter of intense aerobic physical exercise or a combination of both. 

If you are an older adult and are unable to engage in the recommended level of physical exercise because of your medical conditions, you should perform physical activity as your conditions allow.  

Despite participating in 30 minutes of daily exercise, this may not suffice for the negative impact of continuity of sedentary activities throughout the remaining period of your day. 

Therefore, here are some practical tips you can put into practice to get physically active whether you are at home or in the workplace. 

1. Go cycling, jogging or walking and try making it part of the journey to work 

2. Get active at lunchtime by walking or jogging with a coworker 

3. Get off the bus or train one stop before your destination stop 

4. Limit the amount of time spent watching TV, and always stand up during the commercials 

5. Park the car further away from the office or shops and walk the rest of the way 

6. Plant trees in a garden of your own backyard if you have any. Otherwise, be a volunteer for cities, school districts and nature centers to help maintain a local community garden. 

7. Create a reminder to stand up every 30 minutes when at your desk 

8. Set aside 20 minutes every evening for a brisk walk after dinner 

9. Stand rather than sit when on public transport 

10. Stand up when on the phone 

11. Take the stairs or walk up the escalator on a regular basis 

12. If you have children, try walking children to and from school for part of the school week 

13. Walk up and down the field or around the court while watching your children play sports