As professional content writers, it’s easy to stay so focused on our work that hours go by with us sitting in one place. Like most desk job workers, we have a tendency to sit still for hours on end. But sitting in one place is one of the worst things for your health. No hour should go by without you getting out of your chair and being active in some way.
The Danger of Stillness
Sitting for long periods of time is risky for your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, health concerns linked to too much sitting include:
- Increased blood pressure
- High blood sugar
- Increased body fat
- Unusual cholesterol levels
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
Getting Movement In as a Professional Content Writer
As a freelance writer, you have the freedom to work on your own schedule. No one is going to look at you funny if you stand up and do 10 jumping jacks in your workspace (unless you like to take your laptop and write at Starbucks). Here are some ideas to make sure you get up and move for at least 5 minutes every hour:
Have an on-going chore: Can’t get it all done in 5-10 minutes? Rather than spend an hour folding laundry, doing dishes or completing some household task, break it up and make it a productive part of your work routine. Write for 30 minutes, then get up and go fold 10 shirts or wash 5 dishes. Rather than sitting for 3 hours and then spending 1 on your chore, use the chore as a physical break in your work.
Take brainstorming laps: Often there comes a point in an article where you mentally freeze. Take this moment to physically un-freeze; get up and pace the room, concentrating on the word or phrase you are stuck on. By taking these opportune moments to be active, you will continue to get work done, stay on track and still get a few minutes of movement in per hour.
Don’t take it sitting down: A phone call? Lunch? Whatever you can do standing up, do it for the sake of your health. Americans have a terrible habit of sitting at every opportune moment, and it’s slowly killing us. Literally.
Get a hobby: Yoga, walking your dog, riding a horse—these are all pastimes I’ve tried and love. Find whatever you enjoy that is active. You don’t have to be a weightlifting Crossfit enthusiast (like my husband)—from ping pong to bowling, there are creative ways to stay physically moving.
In It for the Long Run
Did you know: 30 minutes a day of activity are highly recommended for aging well?
According to both the American Journal of Public Health and Healthline, a lack of exercise and physical activity leads to depression and physical disability in the elderly. This isn’t just a lack of exercise as a senior patient, but a lifelong lack of movement and mobility. Healthline considers exercise the best option for treating depression: “[Exercise] lacks the side effects associated with antidepressants and may contribute to better overall health and well-being.”
So stay active, my friends. Live long and prosper.
Alethea M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.