How much do you stand in a given day?
If you’re like many Americans, your job requires you to be plopped in front of a computer or a telephone, only standing for a restroom break or to punch your card for the day.
That’s your job, and it’s something you’re required to do, but this deskbound lifestyle can wreck your health. Thankfully, there’s a fix. In Dr. A’s Habits of Health, I talk about the Six S’s of Success. Three of these S’s are “standing,” “strolling,” and “switch,” which means performing tasks by hand that we usually let a machine do for us.
While this article mainly focuses on “standing,” you will find hints of strolling and switch in the following chores as well. That’s the beauty of this method: Each “S” works well with one another, allowing you to maximize your health benefits by accomplishing several objectives at once.
If we can add these three elements to our daily routine, we can get healthy little by little, and soon we will rewire our brains to actually make a habit of standing more around the house and at work.
Not sure where to start? Check out the following list.
Tips to help you get started
Even if you work at a job that keeps you on your feet and active most of the day, you can supplement those benefits with these tasks.
- Wash Your Clothes by Hand. This doesn’t mean you have to wash all your clothes by hand, of course! Whether you’re single or the head of a family of six, doing all your laundry by hand would serve as a serious challenge, and you wouldn’t have any time left in your day to create health in the other areas of your life.
Instead, start by washing your jeans by hand. Fill your bathtub or sink with about six inches of warm water, then add a cup of laundry detergent. Let your jeans soak for 20 minutes, and gently scrub the fabric. Once you feel you’ve thoroughly cleaned them, rinse with warm water, wring out the excess liquid, and hang up to dry. As an added benefit, your jeans will last longer since they’re not going through the rough cycles of your washing machine anymore!
- Find Your Inner Chef. It’s nice to make a fulfilling, homemade meal for yourself and your family once in a while, and cooking is a great way to introduce more standing to your life.
Choose a dish that requires chopping and preparation. When you’re in the kitchen channeling your inner Bobby Flay, you’re actually burning calories and creating healthy neural pathways, too! You’re standing at the counter, mincing veggies and hand-washing meats, and you’re bustling around the kitchen to make sure everything is cooking as planned. When you make an effort to prepare more delicious homemade meals, it’s natural to then gravitate toward locally grown, fresh produce, too. In this way, standing up in the kitchen to cook your meals can positively benefit your diet and eating habits, too! Once you start to care about how you cook your food, you will naturally start to think about what you’re putting in your body, and you’ll begin to choose healthier, more nutritious offerings.
- Don’t Send That Email! Have you ever emailed a co-worker who was just a short walk away? At home, maybe you’ve texted a family member in a different room.
Instead, walk to them and start a face-to-face conversation! We’ve all experienced that moment where what you said in an email or a text message didn’t translate the way you intended. Soon, you’re sending piles of emails and text messages back and forth, spending the better part of an hour to relay something that could have been done in five minutes.
Take a walk down the office or jaunt upstairs to speak face-to-face, and remain standing while you talk. This saves time, builds social skills, and helps you to create health through an everyday task!