Do you spend your work hours sitting in one place for long periods of time? Sometimes all we need is a reminder to shake things up or stand up and move our bodies around. Sluggard is an app for MacOS designed to help fight sitting disease; a sedentary lifestyle detrimental to your health and well-being. The combination of technological advantages coupled with desk jobs have created a health challenge for even those who consider themselves very active outside of work. Even if you exercise daily, spending hours with little movement puts you at risk for developing blood clots, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, because of the lack of muscle contractions over an extended period of time. According to a 2015 study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, two minutes of light activity every hour can result in reducing your risk of dying by one third.
How can an app help me beat the odds? Sluggard works by prompting you to do an exercise. There’s a free and paid version with the paid version offering a wider variety of exercises options. While you work, you’ll get a pop-up reminder on your computer telling you to do a short exercise, for example “10 squats.” You complete your exercise then return back to working. If you’re in the middle of a work task that you cannot stop, such as a conference call, you can skip and have the app remind you later. You can set Sluggard to provide short exercises for you to complete throughout the day at set intervals that you control.
Not interested in downloading another app? If you choose not to download the app, you can set up your own default reminders in your email or favorite to-do task manager for similar results. Outlook has reminders and calendar appointments that can easily replicate the work that Sluggard does, which can be great if you use Windows instead of Mac. This functionality can be found in a lot of fitness trackers as well. The key is paying attention to your notifications! If you’re the type of person who always ignores notifications on their computer, this app and method may not work best for you.
The average person spends around 12 waking hours sitting in place. The key takeaway here is to remember to get up and move during your sedentary work day. Taking a few minutes of each hour to move around will have lasting effects on your health and wellness. Sometimes we need a reminder, especially when work days get are so busy. It’s not enough to just go to the gym. We have to make sure we are sprinkling our days with little bits of activity throughout or we still risk having the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Get up and move, do a squat or a pushup or a quick jog around the office. Your body will thank you for it!