Sitting too much is bad for you! Regular exercise is good, but recent studies indicate it may not be enough to solve the health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle (meaning a lifestyle that is sedentary outside of planned workouts). The good news is with a little effort and creativity you can help counter-act that with a little N.E.A.T Activity!
Getting enough activity is a unique challenge that bloggers, designers, and other writers face.
We typically add our blogging on top of other commitments in our lives. In my case, much of my blog time replaced activity. I spent much of my “spare time” moving, now I spend it sitting in front of a computer We only have 24 hours in a day, it is so hard to find time for everything. A blog will take all the available time we allow. Sound familiar to anyone?
In this post, I will share Seven tips to increase NEAT activity especially for bloggers!
Seven Tips To Increase NEAT Activity For Bloggers
One of Feeling Fit, Bit By Bit’s first evergreen posts was my Ten Tips to Increase NEAT Activity. These tips are the bloggers’ version, but some of the tips from the other post may also fit into your blogging lifestyle.
1. Simulate An Active Daily Commute
People who walk, cycle, skate, or ski to and from work typically have an advantage over the rest of us. (Yes, I have met someone who cross country skis to work in the winter!). Bloggers and people who work from home don’t always have that opportunity. But we can simulate it!
Sandwich your blogging day (or night) between two light-to-moderate movement sessions. The classic choices would be walking or cycling (indoor or out), however, any light activity will help. You can dance, do yoga, clean house, play with your four-year-old — it’s all good.
[tweetthis]Bloggers need NEAT Activity too! 7 Tips to be active while you blog![/tweetthis]
2. Create A DIY Active Work Station
In an ideal world, we would all blog in a dedicated room with large windows and lots of natural light. We would have state-of-the-art treadmill desks pointed towards our incredible view of the mountains, sea, or favored landscape of choice. Sadly, most of us are not that fortunate. However, we can create an affordable active workstation.
Any break from sitting still in a chair helps. It may take a little creativity and rearranging. I have a couple inexpensive options I already use. I use e a bistro-height dining room table and also a kitchen island as standing workstations. I also have an under the desk recumbent DeskCycle (affiliate link, received for review) that I set up under my computer desk for a peddling workstation.
If you already have a treadmill or exercise cycle, many people find inexpensive DIY alternatives to a treadmill desk. I’ve heard of people using a shelf from IKEA (with lower shelves removed) to hack their treadmill into a treadmill desk.
3. Use Siri or Other Dictation Apps
Sometimes when I walk, blog ideas come to me. I started dictating notes on my phone through Siri. I also use Siri to dictate very rough drafts while I am moving around. Hint– If you don’t already know, you can even dictate punctuation and line breaks. Use the command “New Line” if you want to dictate a new line.
4. Find Ways To Decrease Your Sedentary Busy Work
Blogging involves a lot of busy-work. I find that using apps and services that reduce any of this busy work allows more time for movement (and more time for my content).
I do not have the budget for a virtual assistant, but some bloggers do. Instead, I have found it worthwhile to subscribe to a couple services that make graphics, social media shares and a few other tasks easier. These all warrant separate posts, but this is why Feeling Fit for bloggers column features reviews and hacks for productivity and time-saving apps, gadget, and services. Staying active is partially a time management issue. We all have so much to do in so little time!
5. Look For Ways To Stand, Move or Change Position During Your Social Media Time
Bloggers typically spend time reading other’s posts and commenting. I try to use my standing workstation (that would be my kitchen island and laptop) or my DeskCycle while visiting social media and other blogs.
6. Set A Timer and Take Stretch or Movement Breaks
There are free apps specially designed to remind you to move at periodic intervals. Any timer app works. Also, some wearable activity tracking devices feature inactivity alarms. These are valuable. Any means of breaking up your time spent sedentary will work. The challenge is doing this in a way that doesn’t ruin productivity or flow.
I accidentally discovered an interesting resource through my participation in the Blogelina Blogging class. Blogelina recommended the app Clef to securely log into my WordPress site. Clef is designed to make secure login easier. However, it features a timer to log you in for a particular time-period. I have mine set for one hour. Clef sends a phone notification to me five minutes before the hour ends. I save my work, and then I take a movement break. Five minutes an hour of movement adds up. And I find my writing, editing and social media time more productive as the activity clears my head.
Another web application is Fit Bolt. Fit Bolt is a web app that prompts you to do 30-second exercises every half hour. It has the option to log your movement breaks on a Fitbit, Runkeeper or Daily Mile account.
7. Use Your Blog As Motivation To Move
One saving grace for me is that Feeling Fit is intended to be a fitness and active lifestyle blog. I frequently review workout media, games and inexpensive home exercise equipment and gadgets. As a result, I am obligated to exercise! If I don’t, it isn’t just my health at stake. I let down my readers and the brands who trust me to review their products. If appropriate for your niche, consider reviewing products that require you to move or exercise.
If you can afford one (or find one to review), try using a pedometer or wearable activity tracker to track your activity. Some even have sedentary alarms to remind you to move. Feeling Fit features articles on making the most of these types of devices. I have a Fitbit, but the posts do apply to other trackers and even old-school pedometers.
Why This Is Important:
If you search the web, you may find numerous articles referring to studies about the dangers of sitting for hours at a time. I feel that some of these articles are a little alarmist.
While I recognize that sitting is a health issue, I chose to curate a few that I feel are more helpful and practical. To feel and be our fittest, we need to find creative ways to move more throughout the day without sacrificing our productivity.
- Sitting All Day: Worse For You Than You Might Think – From the National Public Radio Website
- NEAT Exercises for Couch Potatoes – From Everyday Health
Is Sitting a Lethal Activity? – From The New York Times
Bloggers, writers, anyone who works from home… How do you stay active? What productivity hacks, tips, apps or services make your life easier to free up time for physical activity?