Updated: Mar 3, 2021
So many of us have jobs that require us to sit all day, whether it’s at our desk, in the car to commute, or for myself, sitting in class. While I have an active job that keeps me on my feet, moving and lifting weights and I make getting a workout in daily a priority, I am still stuck in in front of a computer for upwards of 6 hours on some days. For me, the answer to this problem is to use a standing desk, to at least get me off my feet even if I can’t be moving. I'll even do squats and jump around at my desk throughout the day, much to the dismay of my coworkers.
We have continuously started to see how unhealthy sitting all day is and the Mayo clinic states "those who sat for more than 8 hours without physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking"(1) That's pretty serious. Some studies found that even an hour of moderate intensity activity is not enough to counter the negative effects of sitting all day.
What does that all mean? Are we just doomed? NO way! Here are some ways you can stay more active throughout the day and avoid sitting for extended periods of time. Studies have shown that getting up and moving your body more often can have serious health benefits like modestly improving insulin resistance, triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and even blood pressure. (2)
1. Walk the dog Not only will your pet be healthier and happier, but you will get some extra steps in and burn a few extra calories. If you don’t have a dog, you can always volunteer to walk your friends pet.
2. Park farther away If you are out running errands, that can add up to a lot of time in the car, sitting. If you are able to park farther away, or between two errands and walk between them, you can get plenty of extra steps in the process.
3. Consider a fitness tracker There are a variety of fitness trackers out there that can be a great tool to help you really get a better idea of how active you are throughout the day. Most are customizable, allow you to connect with friends and even challenge each other to see who can get the most steps in a day or week.
4. Take the stairs When you can, try to take the stairs instead of escalators or elevators. You will not only get some extra stairs but get a better workout by taking the hike.
5. Get off the bus Try catching the bus at a bus stop just a bit farther away or getting off one step early on your way home. This small adjustment can add a few hundred steps more to your daily total and probably won’t take you that much longer to get home.
6. Break it up Instead of trying to get all your steps at once, try going for a short walk in the morning, around lunch time and after work. Better yet, set a reminder each hour, or get a tracker that reminds you to move every hour, If you get 500 steps every hour you’re at work thats an extra 4,000 steps in your day!
7. Dance it out When all else fails, put on some fun music and dance it out! You can close the blinds and no one has to see you but you’ll feel happier and get some extra steps in at the end of the day! I love putting on music when I’m cooking and more often than not, the beat will get to me and I end up doing some bouncing around in the kitchen before dinner.