Fit Bits: Get Up and Smell the Roses


Photo I. Hanewicz

You can’t see sunsets like these sitting in front of a computer.

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

These days, electronics have made us more interconnected than ever before.

Need to ask your mom about the family dinner tonight? Text her. Want to see how your cousin who lives in Germany is doing? Check their Instagram. Have to show your best friend a video of you rapping? Snapchat her.

Yes, technology makes our lives easy, but it also makes us lazy. Sitting in front of your computer screen all day working on the biology project or staring at your phone texting for hours on end can be bad for your health.

Staying sedentary for hours can cause all kinds of back, neck and hand problems, not to mention the strain you put on your eyes staring at a screen for prolonged periods of time.

So instead of cutting out electronic time entirely-because let’s be realistic, that’s not going to happen-try one of these ideas to incorporate a little activity when you’ve been plugged in for too long.

  1. If you’re watching a TV: Every time a commercial break comes on, stand up and do some sort of quick core exercise, like a push-up. Even if you just stand up and do a few lunges, it’ll be better than sitting down. If you are watching Netflix or another streaming service, do this during the title and end sequences, or pick a character and do a set number of exercises, like 10 crunches, every time the character comes on screen.
  2. If you’re on your phone or computer at home: Set a timer to go off every 20 minutes to stand up and stretch. Every hour, take a break and walk around the block.
  3. If you’re studying somewhere else (library, Starbucks): Every 30 minutes, take a 2-to-5 minute breather without electronics (standing up, walking around, reading a book, etc.)
  4. Anywhere: A quick way to get in some exercise is to take a brisk walk (or run, if you’re up for it). Offer to take your dog on a walk, if you have one, or just go for a ten minute walk and take in your surroundings.
  5. If you have a long day of studying: If you know you’re going to spend most of your day working on a computer, check your phone for the time of sunset and set an alarm for that time. When the alarm goes off, wherever you are, stop, go outside, and watch the sun set for a few minutes to give yourself a well-deserved mental break.