While there is something to be said for taking time to relax and put your feet up, too much sitting could be damaging to your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, 50 to 70 percent of people spend six or more hours a day sitting. Additionally, 20 to 35 percent of people spend 4 hours or more a day watching TV. All this time spent sitting has been linked to the development of health issues such as diabetes, cognitive decline, certain cancers, physical disabilities and a decrease in overall life expectancy.

While “sitting disease” is not an official diagnosis, is has been clinically linked to over 30 chronic conditions that result from leading a sedentary lifestyle. And, the effects this lack of activity have on our bodies only increases as we age. The good news is sitting disease can be avoided. For seniors age 65 to 74, reducing the time you spend sitting to less than three hours per day can reduce the effects of sitting disease and may even help you live longer.

Spring Activities That Help Seniors Sit Less

The cold months of winter make it challenging for seniors to stay active, making spring the perfect time to take on a new activity to ensure you never stop moving.

Here are some spring activities for seniors that are perfect for warding off sitting disease:

  1. Visit a local park or zoo. Walking is a great, low impact exercise that improves heart health, boosts your mood, lowers blood sugar and may even reduce pain from chronic conditions like arthritis. So grab your walking shoes and head to a local park or zoo where you’re likely to find smooth walking paths and benches for those who might need a short break along the way.
  2. Go fishing. Even if you don’t catch anything, standing on a riverbank or edge of a lake fishing is a great way for seniors to relax. Some studies show that fishing may even give your immune system a boost.
  3. Look for an outdoor tai chi or chair yoga class. While both these activities can be done indoors, doing them outside can give you the added benefit of some extra vitamin D. And while chair yoga still requires some sitting, the various movements and poses involved are a perfect way for seniors to get their joints moving.
  4. Do some window shopping. Grab a friend and spend the day doing some window shopping. It’s a great way to get out of the house, get moving and catch-up with a close friend.
  5. Start an herb or flower garden. Gardening can be a fun, relaxing hobby. Try growing a few of your favorite herbs or flowers in a standing raised garden which doesn’t require excessive bending or stooping down, which may be difficult for some seniors.

Before you know it, the cold temperatures of winter will be back. Take time to enjoy the warm weather spring has to offer and get outside! You’ll feel happier and healthier for it.

Western Home Communities Helps Keeps Seniors Active

At Western Home Communities, we offer a wide range of living options to ensure aging seniors have access to the services and care they need to live active, healthy, happy lives. From vibrant independent living to supportive assisted living and memory care, we work with seniors and their families to find the option that's right for them. Contact us today to learn more about our community options and to schedule a tour.