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How to Sit Less; Move More

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA 

Sitting Pretty the movieYou know sitting a lot contributes to weight gain. Not just total time spent sitting, but uninterrupted “Sitting Pretty.” But do you know why? And how to work in movement breaks and less sitting? Are you finding yourself spending many hours at a computer, desk, or tv wondering how to find time to be active? Do you look at your cell phone in disbelief that you have been sitting for a loooooong time with no break? We have some fitspiration tips for you. Besides — oy, stand up already!

Sitting Does Not Compute

Even for us, we find it a challenge to pull ourselves away from the computers blogging about living actively as boomers. Fitness irony, right? There’s always one more email to answer or that quick post to enter. Next thing you know — wham! Sitting on the Dock of the Butt for hours on literal End!

Uninterrupted Sitting Time is the Worst

First some suggestions on how to work in breaks from sitting:

  1. Set a timer on your computer, watch, or cell phone to remind you to get out of the sitting position. Ideal is to stand up and move about every 20 minutes. Shoot for at least once every 60 minutes at a minimum.
  2. Get an app to nag, motivate you to get up, stretch, stand, walk about — something; anything! (Fun Fit Fact: Midlife women comprise the biggest purchasers of fitness and health apps. Who says we aren’t techno savvy??!!)
  3. Create an inconvenient work or tv watching environment. For example, don’t use remote controls to watch television. You want a volume or channel change? Gotta get off your duff. Need a certain notebook to finish a post or computer document? Store your notebooks (pens, files, rulers, whatever you need on a semi-regular basis) away from your computer or desk. No cheating by rolling over to the notebook if your work chair has wheels. You have to actually stand up.
  4. Drink a lot of water. Are you with me? Yes, as we walk together to the bathroom. (Then leave me in privacy, please).
  5. Place snacks and drinks anywhere but within reach. You want it bad enough, you’ll get up.
  6. Get a dog. Say Whaaaatt? Yes, if you have a dog, you will have to take breaks from sitting to let your wonderpoochie in and out. Your dog will need walks, play time, attention, fresh water, more food. See all the opportunities to get up, even if just for a minute or two?
  7. Read two of our prior posts : “Love Exercise; Work is a Pain Though,” and “Seated Posture: Part 6” You’ll especially enjoy the comments from the former. Let us know if you laughed a bit too.
  8. Buy a cardio work station and actually work on it. Don’t count this as specific workout or exercise time especially if you are in nice work clothes you don’t want to sweat up. Approach time on a bike/ desk or treadmill/ desk as Not Sitting Time. For more on how and why to go this route, click now on this link to Fitness + Desk = FitDesk (no, we were not compensated to add this in. It’s just good stuff. And sorta humorous too)

Total Time Sitting: Do You Need Motivation or Education?

If your challenge is finding exercise time with all the sedentary work you are laboring under, ponder this: If you are not reaching your goals, it boils down to only two reasons – either not enough Motivation or Education. Motivation you have to get from yourself; Education is coming at you live in the next paragraph without further commercial interruption (unlike the sitting interruption we are aiming for. Oops that was a break right there).

Kymberly lounging by the pool, sitting

Sitting Pretty and that’s no Sitting Bull!

Education About Leaking and Multiplying Fat Cells Will Motivate You Not To Sit Too Much!

Short version of what’s going on inside your body as you sit and sit and sit.

Your preadipocyte cells (pre-fat cells waiting in the wings) turn into full-fledged fat cells faster and in greater number when the body is “actively inactive.” That means you are working at being sedentary for hours at a stretch. Existing fat cells reload with more fat as well. Insert loud horror movie scream here!

When muscles — such as glutes, in this case — are in a stretched position for an extended time, the cells in those muscles “leak” and “drip” lipids. Yes, that’s another word for “fat.” The weight of the body increases lipid production via a process called “mechanical stretch loading.” For those who like the science behind growing behinds, read these two articles on sitting causing fat gain. Brace yourself for the educational story about fat cells lurking and invading our muscles as we innocently plunk our hinies in one spot too long. Believe me, you will be motivated to sit less after reading the research results.

Are you standing up as you read this? We thought not. Then stop reading and get up as soon as you:

A) subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

B) Follow us on google+Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

C) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email


About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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11 Responses to How to Sit Less; Move More

  1. Adela September 12, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    I can forget all about time when I am writing. I have my computer set to blurt out the time every half hour. I get up, run up and down the stairs and hoola-hoop for three minutes. The last place I need more fat is where I sit. I have enough cushion back there already.
    Adela recently posted..STEM Girls go to the Museum of Science and IndustryMy Profile

    • KymberlyFunFit September 12, 2013 at 9:02 am #

      Way to go Adela! Hula hooping is so much fun! Having my computer blurt at me might not be as much fun though! Shake that booty!
      KymberlyFunFit recently posted..How to Sit Less; Move MoreMy Profile

  2. Jody - Fit at 55 September 12, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    GREAT POST!! I was going to say the water thing in my comment which gets me out of the chair A LOT but you guys already got that one!!! :) That last paragraph should be enough to scare women to get up! ;)

    Seriously though – IMPORTANT to get up & move around & make it a priority!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted..Free Designer Whey for a Year! 20 Year Anniversary!My Profile

  3. Tamara September 12, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    Oh my goodness! How did I not know about mechanical stretch loading?
    I am off to go and read the very bad news (and to make sure I’m pacing while I do so!)
    Tamara recently posted..Exercise plus nutrition plus natural supplements: the menopause relief trifecta?My Profile

  4. Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) September 12, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I have playlists that are about 25 minutes long that I use when I’m writing. When the playlist ends, I get up for at least a couple of minutes. When I’m ready to sit down again, I start another playlist.
    Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) recently posted..How Children Succeed by Paul Tough — A Back to School Read Along, September 11My Profile

  5. GiGi Eats Celebrities September 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    I actually never sit before 5pm (well unless I am driving or in a meeting). I have a stand up desk, so a majority of the day, I am standing. This has helped my back SOOOO much! And it makes me feel FAR LESS lazy then when I used to sit in front of my computer all day – yes, I am on the computer for work most of the day… I highly recommend everyone get a stand up desk. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. I bought a lap desk/breakfast in bed table and put it on top of my current desk! It was like $20!! Best investment ever!
    GiGi Eats Celebrities recently posted..The Pig of the Fish WorldMy Profile

  6. KymberlyFunFit September 13, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Brillo idea Gigi! We like your style and budget.
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Sleep – How it Affects Your Weight, Brain & SkinMy Profile

  7. Danica R November 11, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    This article was really interesting… as I sit here and type, my mind keeps envisioning my glutes dripping and leaking their lipidy-goodness. Ew! Definitely going to get off my tush! Love those ideas on how to force breaks on yourself, it can be very easy to sit for super long periods of time.

    An amazing Macbook App is called ShakeIT. Every 20 or so minutes it randomly goes off to remind you to take a break from your computer. It’s really cool because you can also add different notes to the alarms where I insert Mini Workout Commands (i.e.: 10 squats, 10 crunches, 1 min plank).

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