Please Don’t Remain Seated

By on October 25, 2012

Chances are you’re reading this from the comfort of your office chair or possibly using a tablet and relaxing in a comforter. How much time do you spend sitting everyday? Think about it realistically and come up with an answer. If you’re an entrepreneur that works at home or even in an office, chair time adds up quickly. Add in a car commute and time on the couch, and you’re looking at over ten hours a day. Could you be healthier and more productive if you spent a little more time on your feet?

Too Much Sitting is Bad for Your Health

Recent studies suggest that excessive sitting is detrimental to your health and is even correlated with a shortened lifespan. Modern workers suffer from more back pain and body aches than workers in the past who performed physical, manual labor. Our bodies are made to be active, so it only makes sense that they would not be in optimal condition by sitting a life away. At the same time, remaining stationary for too long can dull even the sharpest mind and diminish productivity. Try getting out of the chair to improve your health and even increase your efficiency.

Stand and Deliver

Nobody says you have to do all your work seated from a desk. You can still type from a computer while you’re standing. Even Ernest Hemingway wrote from a standing desk. Some people are even doubling down and working on a treadmill desk or from a stationary bicycle. This seems a little extreme. You don’t want to sweat all over your keyboard, but performing at least half your day’s work on your feet will keep you active and alert. Brainstorming sessions and idea generation can get a helpful boost by having team members on their feet demonstrating some physicality.

Walk it Off

If you become overwhelmed by a challenge, consider going for a walk, preferably in a park or outdoor area, but even just through the office building. A short (or long) walk, especially outdoors, can actually alter your brain chemistry and allow you to approach a challenge from a different perspective. You can compel your brain to get ahead of your work. When you return, you’ll be excited to pour out the ideas you’ve been generating.

Exercise

Likewise, getting in some vigorous exercise can be a powerful motivator for your workday. If you make your own schedule, consider working out for an hour in the middle of your day instead of at the end. You’ll be rewarded with a rush of endorphins that will give you new, relaxed energy to power the rest of your day. Treat your body and your mind to a run in the park, a session in the gym, or some racquetball with a colleague.

Naps of Power

Let us not forget the ultimate extension of sitting, lying down. A power nap is a dual-edged blade. Some people find them extremely helpful and function better with a six-hour sleep period combined with a 20-minute nap later in the day. Others find naps disorienting and counterproductive. Experiment with your schedule to find ways of improving your motivation and efficiency.

As an entrepreneur, you’re determined to take control of your life and your business. Don’t limit yourself to your office chair.


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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.