6 Ways to Sit Less and Why It’s So Important

September 3, 2019

A sedentary lifestyle can be as dangerous as smoking, say the experts. Learn how you can stay active during retirement.

Sitting is the new smoking. Experts now say that spending too much of your day sitting can be deadly. In fact, early mortality is directly impacted by how much time you sit every day. It is linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and depression.

Research shows middle-aged and older adults who sat for 30 minutes or less at a time had the lowest risk for early death. It’s important to note, however, that this doesn’t mean you have to spend the whole day exercising. You just need to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time.

If you aren’t sure how to move more and sit less, these tips may be of interest.

6 Ways to Sit Less and Move More

1. Invest in a fitness tracker.

While using a fitness tracker to count your steps each day is helpful, some of these devices come with another beneficial feature—a movement sensor. If you’ve been sitting too long, it will alert you that it’s time to get up and get moving again.

2. Move when you are on the phone.

If you spend time on the phone catching up with adult children and friends every day, it might be tempting to sit down while you talk. A better option is to keep moving. Whether it is walking around your living space or courtyard or even marching in place, staying in motion is good for your health.

3. Set goals for daily steps.

When you are retired and have more free time, it may be easy to lose track of how much you are walking each day. While lunch with friends or participating in an art workshop are great ways to spend your time, they don’t require a lot of movement.

It might be helpful to talk with your physician for a recommendation on how much walking you should be doing each day. You can break this down to a daily goal for the number of steps walked. Don’t be discouraged if you have to start slow and work up. The overall objective is to simply keep moving.

4. Adopt a senior dog.

Having a four-legged friend to love and care for is good for the body, mind, and spirit. Our canine companions keep us active and encourage us to walk more. Adopting an older dog might be more manageable for an older adult than an overactive puppy. The two of you can explore a few pet-friendly trails to walk together every so often.

5. Rethink how you watch television.

Watching the news or a few favorite game shows can be a great way to unwind. The catch is not to get in a rut and spend too much time sitting on the sofa. A healthier option is to limit how much time you spend in front of the television. When you do watch TV, consider riding a recumbent bike or getting up to stretch and take a brisk walk every half hour.

6. Volunteer for a youth organization.

Children help us stay active and young at heart. If you don’t have grandchildren or if they don’t live nearby, consider volunteering for a local youth organization or helping out in the nursery at your church or synagogue. You’ll likely stay busy and enjoy a boost in spirit that naturally occurs when you spend time with children. Alternatively, the Life Enrichment Coordinator at your community is great at bringing in young volunteers and hosting fun activities that are worth being involved in.

Many Ways to Stay Active at Legacy

At Legacy Senior Living communities, you’ll find a wide variety of life enrichment activities to participate in every day right in the comfort of your community. Our “Live Well” program is designed to meet the unique interests and needs of every resident. Call the Legacy Senior Living community nearest you to learn more!