In my last post, we found 5 very good reasons why exercise should be a crucial part of any entrepreneur’s day, but did you know that even if you exercise daily (which might be a stretch for most of you) you might still be at risk physically & mentally? What researchers are finding is that your daily workout might not be doing you any favors if you spend the rest of the day sitting. Think about it, how many hours do you honestly spend plunked in front of a computer screen, probably a majority of the day right? Humans are meant to move, and even someone young and invincible as you isn’t immune to the profound physiological changes that sitting sets into motion. So what can you do to ward off those health risks and preserve your mental acuity? The answer is simple, you have to find small ways to inject low intensity movement throughout the day. Easy right? It is when you got a plan. Here are 5 ways entrepreneurs can get sit less and move more throughout the day.
Try a Standing Desk
I don’t want to bore you with the science of why sitting is bad for you, but if you’re interested you can check out this article from The Wirecutter that references some good studies. Suffice to say, sitting too much does two things, it reduces your overall calorie burn and profoundly affects your metabolism. One way to combat this is to simply stand when you work. There are tons of examples from the simple, to the clever, to the fancy, and even one for you Lifehacker fans, but no matter your resources, trying out standing workstations could be worth your while. It may take a bit time to get used to, but you should be fine after a few days. You don’t have even stand all day either, the point is to just sit less and banish sitting as your default action when you get to work.
Purchase just One Piece of Fitness Equipment
This is about increasing movement through simplicity. Ultimately the smartest, cheapest and most accessible option would be to just to do bodyweight exercises like pushups, but there is just something so effective about having a physical object whose sole purpose is to nag and remind you to stop being so damn lazy. A friend of mine who is an Air Force engineer, installed a pull-up bar in the doorway that leads to his office’s restrooms. He and his co-workers decided that to prepare for their physicals, they’d do pull-ups everytime they’d get up to do their business. Granted you don’t have to pass certain physical fitness tests, you can still copy my friend’s technique to great effect. Some options to consider, are kettlebells for swings, pull-up bars for pull-ups, or sandbags for shouldering. It really doesn’t matter what you get, just that you try it out and see if a piece of equipment placed in your office somewhere visible actually makes a difference in getting you up and out of your chair.
Do Mobility Drills To Counteract Sitting
We’re all human made up of the same basic physical body parts which makes the common dysfunctions that sitting causes pretty predictable across all individuals. It’s pretty obvious if you’re sitting in your chair and you’re hunched over your computer then your shoulders are going to be forward and not back, hips will be constantly flexed and not extended, and your core inert and not engaged among other things. To counteract this you can do what are called mobility drills to activate and restore mobility in those the parts of your body that are susceptible when you’re sitting to much. Here’s a great article that shows you a catch all routine that’s quick, efficient, and can be done anywhere at anytime.
Take Walking Breaks
Steve Jobs was fond of walking. He often took walks with everyone from Apple’s top executives, to journalists, to friends, to mentors or just simply by himself to stimulate his thinking. Walking, although isn’t particularly vigorous, still affords some great health benefits and is pretty easy to do for the able-bodied. See if you can commit to a few walking breaks throughout the day, or you could try even making any meeting you have a walking one.
Enlist Founding Team
None of the above really make a difference unless those around you can keep you motivated and not make it feel like it’s out of the ordinary to move more. If you’re a solopreneur or a dynamic duo then great, just get you and your co-founder moving. If your team is a bit larger, then creating a culture of movement and health is crucial. Having the founding team model and inspire the healthy behaviors and attitudes is important to making it not so awkward when people drop and do push-ups, or when they choose to take an extended lunch to get a brisk walk in.
If you’re ambitious try combining all ideas, but you could easily start with just one of these ideas and go from there. Making a small commitment to encourage tiny bouts of movement can go a long way in helping you become a fitter, healthier, and more productive entrepreneur. So let’s commit to sitting less so we can give and do more throughout the day.
Kevin Asuncion is the founder of Movemo, a health and fitness company that teaches and empowers those who move our world forward to live healthier so that they can increase the positive change they make in the world. You can follow him on Twitter @movemofitness.