Pomodoro technique, alerts on your smartwatch and five other strategies to move more in your day

With the increase of sedentary work that does not require any physical effort, metabolic diseases have increased, since what is not used, atrophies. There are different techniques and strategies to break those long periods of sitting and increase our amount of daily physical activity.

It is nothing new that a sedentary lifestyle kills. The World Health Organization places the physical inactivity as one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the world. However, if nothing tells us that we have been without physical activity for a long time, we do not fall into it.

Technology is a double-edged sword because is one of the causes of physical inactivity, but in turn, it can be our ally to eliminate said sedentary lifestyle and its consequences: cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

What is the pomodoro technique?

The Pomodoro Technique emerged primarily for carry out blocks of work or study where we do not have any distraction. Focusing completely on a task requires a certain time until our focus is on it, and only on it.

That is why if we are continuously browsing social networks, looking at the mobile, or distracting ourselves with anything, we will never really be on task, and something that could take us an hour, takes us triple the time.

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This technique consists of establish blocks of time according to the preferences and needs of each person. They can be from blocks of half an hour, to blocks of two hours. The recommended thing is usually blocks of an hour, or an hour and a half since it gives us a good balance between concentration and a break from sedentary lifestyle.

Once we have planned how our blocks are going to be, the Pomodoro technique divide a part of maximum concentration, and a pause after that time. Once said block is completed, we return to face another block of maximum concentration with guarantees.

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If we schedule blocks of one hour, we can dedicate 50 minutes to get the most out of our study or work, and the remaining ten minutes we will get up from the chair and stay active, until we return to the next block where we will repeat the process.

Use your smartphone or smartwatch to receive notices of the breakdown of sedentary lifestyle


A common mistake of people who start using the technique is that they repeatedly look at the watch. The best option is schedule alerts on our mobile or smart watch so that it will ring when we have to get up from the chair, and will do it again when we have to concentrate again.

You can do it from the simplest way with alarm programming, to the most complex way with different very simple applications. Set your Tomato or notice, schedule it and apply it. Something so simple will exponentially increase your daily physical activity, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Every time you receive the warning, go up and down the stairs from home or work, go to a cafeteria that is a few minutes from work, use a treadmill, or whatever you can think of, but what break sedentary lifestyle and free your mind, to return to face the next concentration block with the maximum guarantees.

Other strategies to move more in your day to day

Depending on our age, a minimum of daily steps are recommended, below which we will be considered sedentary subjects. That daily activity should be supplemented with higher intensity work and strength training.

Some very simple and effective strategies that we can use in our daily routine are the following.

Add a standing desk and treadmill to your study or work place

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In line with the pomodoro technique, a strategy to increase our daily physical activity is the use of standing desks. It has been proven that working standing improves the bad posture we have when sitting, in addition to avoid that sedentary lifestyle so dangerous to our health.

There are both standing desks, and treadmills to introduce under these desks, so that while we think an idea, we are in a meeting, or any task that allows it, we will increase the daily time we spend moving.

It fits perfectly with the use of the Pomodoro technique since when we receive the notice of the active pause on our smartwatch, it will simply be enough to walk a few minutes on said treadmill. If we put together six cycles of ten minutes of active pause, we will have already walked an hour without even realizing it.

Your legs are the best method of transportation

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As long as distance and time allow, we can get around walking: to the college, institute or university; to our workplace; or any daily commute that we can cover by walking.

On many occasions you can see how people come to your sports center by car to use a treadmill or a bicycle. Although, if it is what generates adherence to sports practice, it is a good option, it is preferable to actively travel to the gym as well.

The amount of time we move throughout the day is more important than the hour-long workout in the gym. Both complement each other perfectly, but if we only train during the gym session, we will be sedentary people who train, but we will not be active people.

Make the purchase in different specialized stores

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Buying is one of those compulsory tasks that we have to perform once or several times a week. We usually take the car and go to a large supermarket because of the ease and speed.

If our availability allows us, we can select different specialty stores such as butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer that are close to home, and go to each of them separately.

In addition to moving more, we will avoid a lot of ultra-processed foods that are on the supermarket shelves, and that are not in the markets or in these specialized stores.

Establish at least one day a week to go hiking and / or to discover corners of your city

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One day a week, or more if we can afford it, we can escape to little-explored neighborhoods of our city or some nearby natural area. That will greatly increase the overall count of the average weekly physical activity.

Enjoy an active occupation in your free time

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We are not hunter-gatherers so we do not spend five hours of our day going to collect plants and hunt some animals. But yes there are countless occupations that will make us move more every day.

From having a pet with which to go for a walk, belonging to a club of your favorite activity (cycling, swimming, climbing …), growing your own food in a garden, or anyone who occupies that time that we would otherwise spend in a sedentary way.

The practice of any sport also has a place. There are multiple platforms that connect you with other users to complete a match football, a paddle tennis party, etc. That is why technology increases or decreases sedentary lifestyle, depending on how we use it.

In Vitónica | Replacing the time we are sitting with physical activity improves mood and reduces BMI: five keys to moving more

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