Sometimes you just have to sit down. Office workers and commuters especially know it's not always possible to get off your backside, but the the risks of spending life in a chair are pretty dire. What everyone can do, is add small changes like these. Just be careful in the car, where moving around could distract you from the road, says James Levine, M.D., Ph.D.
Ask for a desk you can use while standing. If your boss doesn't go for it, stand up to take phone calls or swap your chair for a stability ball.
Use the restroom farthest from your office, and drink extra water to stay hydrated and increase your number of trips to the loo.
Send your documents to a printer on another floor or on the other side of the office.
Create a screen saver that reminds you to stand up and stretch.
If you commute via bus or train, pace up and down the platform or sidewalk while you wait for your ride.
Do mundane tasks (bill paying, e-mailing) while standing.
Pace around the house while you talk on the phone.
Carry in your groceries one bag at a time.
Take a few minutes to make your bed every day.
Chop your own veggies instead of buying precut produce.
Spend QT with Your TV
Most Americans watch five hours of television per day, likely while resting on their rear ends. It's time to revise your relationship with the small screen.
Think of TV like junk food: A little doesn't hurt, but too much can crush your health. Yet there's no question we're obssessed (53 percent of people think a living room without a TV is worse than one without a couch). Excess tube time can up your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and a shortened life, and a 2011 study found that every hour of TV you watch after age 25 shaves 22 minutes off your life span.
Tons of TV time can also affect your outlook. Per a recent study at the Harvard School of Public Health, women who watched three-plus hours of television a day were about 13 percent more likely to be suffering from depression than those who rarely tuned in. The researchers found that heavy watchers tended to--you guessed it--trade mood-boosting physical activity for sedentary viewing hours.
That said, you don't need to unplug altogether. Limit TV time to two hours or fewer a day, and instead of simultaneously tapping away on your tablet, phone, or laptop while watching, step in place during commercials. Doing so for the 25 minutes of ads shown during an hour-long show revs your circulation and (bonus!) zaps about 150 calories, according to Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. If you DVR and skip the ads, keep a yoga mat in front of your boob tube and do stretches as you watch or work on chores like folding laundry. Better yet, hop onto a treadmill or exercise bike and take in your shows while moving at a comfortable pace, says Levine, who catches up on Law & Order while on his treadmill.