Want no-BS insights on building a highly profitable freelancing business?
✓ FREE 5 Day Course on Winning Top Paying Clients
✓ Q&A - Send In Your Questions, I Answer Them Here
✓ LIVE Webinars
✓ The Chance to Win a FREE Coaching Call
I guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will not be shared
Our monthly challenges are supposed to help you increase your freelancing profits immediately. This month’s challenge will not have a positive impact in your bottom line right away. However, it is very important.
By taking this month’s challenge, you will:
- improve and protect your health
- increase your energy
- make you more productive
And it is utterly simple. This month’s challenge is: get off your butt. Get up and out of your chair more often.
Why? Let me explain.
Why You Should Stand More
Last week, I saw a disturbing article about the dangers of sitting down for hours at a time every day.
It says that sitting down all day puts us at risk of developing obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and, not surprisingly, early death — now matter how much exercise we get!
That’s right. All the sitting around actually undermines the benefits we may get when we do get up to exercise. This may explain the work at home health danger I wrote about in another blog: the average person gains about 30 pounds in their first year of working at home.
This New York Times article hit a nerve with me and @WritersKitchen. As work at home freelancers, we often spend hours at a time sitting in front of our computers. And since my toddler got potty trained, I haven’t had to get up as often as I used to. @WritersKitchen admits to sitting for up to six hours straight sometimes. I totally understand. When the momentum is there, you just want to keep working.
But because we value our health and productivity, @WritersKitchen and I made changes in our working environment right away. You’ll be surprised how simple they are, and you can get started too.
How To Sit Less
1. Sit on a stability ball.
This is what I began doing right away. I used to sit on a stability ball instead of a chair in my last trimester of my third pregnancy because my back and pelvis hurt like anything if I sit on a regular chair.
Sitting on a stability ball makes your body work harder as you keep your balance. At first, I didn’t feel comfortable at all and I longed for the “relaxation” of my regular chair or sofa. But I did feel my back getting stronger and now, I actually enjoy it (and so does the toddler, who insists on sitting on my lap while I’m on the ball.)
2. Take frequent breaks.
The New York Times article cited a study which found that people who frequently stood up to stretch or “walk down the corridor” fared better than those who sat uninterruptedly. So set a timer to go off every 45 minutes or so and get up to stretch, get a glass of water, check your mailbox — anything to get off your butt!
3. Use a standup desk.
@WritersKitchen quickly rigged a standup desk and she’s been working while standing up (I’ve asked for a picture and will add it here as soon as Lorraine sends it). I have started working occasionally with my laptop on the kitchen counter. It’s definitely more physical work than sitting on the stability ball — which is good!
Lorraine and I have also been drooling over these custom-made standup desks, such as one that’s like what Virginia Woolf apparently used. These are handmade by Amish wood workers, made of real wood, and even comes with a brass footrest. It’s the ultimate luxury (at least for me), however, as you have seen you don’t need one as nice as this if you really want to stay on your feet while working.
Some standup desks are built around a treadmill, so you can walk slowly while checking your email, surfing the web, or doing other less demanding tasks on the computer.
The “Ball” Is In Your Court
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to become less sedentary and spend fewer hours sitting on your bum.
Which of these suggestions are you going to start doing today? Do share in the comments below.
PS: Update on last month’s challenge: I joined an expensive online forum and have so far signed up one new client. She’s keen on working with me for the long haul. I’m excited to work with her, because she’s an expert in her field and is highly motivated to have a successful business. Also, and very importantly, she’s willing to invest in her success. And I’m confident that I can help her achieve it.
photo credit: jessica mullen