We're sitting too much and it's dangerous. The average American spends more than seven hours sitting every day, and the more time you sit, the higher your risk of serious, potentially life-threatening health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. So, what can you do about it?
Fortunately, there are simple changes you can make during the day - anywhere, even at the work place - to improve your wellness and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. As part of the American Diabetes Association's Wellness Lives Here initiative, the Association encourages everyone to get active for National Get Fit Don't Sit Day with these 10 tips for the workplace and beyond.
Park a few blocks away from the office each morning and walk to work.
This allows you to start off your mornings energized and ready to take on the workday. If you take public transportation, get off one stop earlier to squeeze in some light exercise before 8 a.m.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Waiting for the elevator often takes just as long as walking up the stairs, so why not use this opportunity to get your heart rate up? Plus, you'll get the chance to work your leg muscles.
Get up and move around the office once every 90 minutes.
When you're nose-deep in work, it's easy to lose track of time. Set up reminders on your phone or email every 60-90 minutes to get up and do a quick lap around the office. You can use this time to fill up your water bottle, go to the bathroom or catch up with coworkers.
Ask questions and discuss issues face-to-face.
Rather than sending an email every time you have a question, go to your coworker's office to discuss the issue face-to-face. This gives you a good excuse to get moving and a chance to more effectively hash out solutions in person.
Use your lunch break to move around outside.
So many Americans today work through their lunch break. When possible, take advantage of this time to walk outside and soak in the nice weather. Fresh air and vitamin D are often all you need to stay focused and push through the afternoon slump.
Stand up and stretch.
If you don't have time to walk around the office every 90 minutes, use the opportunity to stand up and stretch instead. Stretching is a great way to increase energy levels, reduce muscle tension and get your body moving.
Pace around the office during conference calls.
Conference calls are the perfect time to be active. Put clients and coworkers on speaker, or use your mobile phone during meetings to move around without any trouble.
Do chair exercises at your desk.
You've been wanting to tone your arms for the summer - why not achieve your goals at the office? When you need a break, do a few reps of chair sits. You can even alternate between chair exercises and push ups!
Hold standing or walking meetings.
Many coworkers will welcome the opportunity to stand and stretch their legs for a moment. If you have a two-person meeting, consider going for a walk.
Fidget when you work.
Small movements and quick exercise breaks add up, especially in a sedentary work place, so challenge yourself to stand, stretch or even tap a foot to bring motion into otherwise still parts of your day. Just remember to keep it professional!
Making a point to move throughout the day puts you on the right track toward wellness. For more ideas on how to increase physical activity and maintain a healthy lifestyle, download the Association's e-tool kit today to incorporate the principles and activities of National Get Fit Don't Sit Day into the workday and beyond.