Today, as many different commentators and public health officials around the world have pointed out, sedentary living is an increasingly common problem that is affecting a greater number of individuals than ever before in history.
For those living in developed nations and working in white collar jobs, in particular, it’s all too common to go through entire days at a stretch while doing little, if anything, physical at all.
Between spending the entire work day sitting down in front of a computer, and spending the entire evening sitting down in front of the TV, or in front of another computer, any innovation or lifestyle tweak that would help to encourage greater levels of physical activity could potentially be a game changer.
Height Adjustable Desks, or “standing desks,” are one solution that some people turn to when striving to get a bit more physically active when at work — and to spend a bit less time habitually sitting down. But there are many other approaches you could take to becoming more physically active on a daily basis, including things like utilising a wearable fitness step tracker and walking or cycling to work.
In any case, here are some of the benefits of finding small ways to be more physically active, day-by-day.
Increased energy levels
One of the costs of sedentary living is diminished energy levels, and an increased risk of lethargy throughout the day.
At first glance, this can seem kind of paradoxical. After all, shouldn’t you be preserving more energy if you’re moving around less?
The real answer seems a lot more complicated, and has to do with all sorts of things ranging from the body generating more energy if you are lightly physically active throughout the day, to physical activity helping to promote deeper breathing, better circulation and digestion, and more.
By walking around more during the day, sitting less, and engaging in more physically active and ideally outdoors-focused pastimes, you may well find that you feel a lot more energised each day.
A better baseline mood and an elevated sense of wellbeing
According to certain psychologists, such as Kelly McGonigal, there is a very clear connection between mental health and the amount of low-moderate intensity physical activity you get in on a daily basis.
This can even be tracked according to many steps people get in each day, when using a wearable fitness tracker, for example.
Individuals who get at least approximately 10,000 steps in a day are likely to feel a lot more positive and upbeat than individuals who barely get any steps in each day. There are many potential reasons for this, including different wellness-promoting molecules that get released by the muscles during even relatively light physical activity. Molecules that are different from the famous endorphins we’ve all heard of.
Moving around more during the day — especially if a decent amount of that moving is done in the great outdoors — will very likely help you to feel more upbeat and optimistic.
Less of likelihood of getting stuck in your own head
Spending too much time essentially disconnected from your own body and caught up in your own thoughts can be a very frustrating and demoralising experience — not least of all because it makes it easier to get caught in an unhealthy cycle of rumination.
If you’re constantly stuck in your own head, you can easily end up losing your sense of perspective to a significant degree, and you can find it a lot trickier to enjoy the moment, or to take action in your life to do the things you want to do.
At the very, being more physically active can help to get you out of your head a bit, and more into your body and your surroundings.
A more proactive feeling and attitude, on a day-to-day basis
Being more physically active on a day-to-day basis can simply help to make you feel more driven, focused and capable, and can put you in a frame of mind where you are more likely to be proactive as a whole.
As has already been touched on, simply getting out of your own head, feeling more energised, and feeling a bit more optimistic, can all contribute very significantly to an enhanced sense of personal agency and drive.
If you want to spend less of your day procrastinating, ruminating, getting caught up in self doubt, and all the rest, simply getting more physically active each day may really help.