It’s no surprise that most adults spend more than half of their entire work day sitting down. If you work in an office you likely spend a large portion of your day at a desk, sitting in a chair and working on a computer.
It’s also likely that you’ve read about how all of that time spent seated could be detrimental to your health (even if you spend time exercising before or after work); reports on what’s sometime sensationally referred to as “sitting disease” have continually been a predominant part of the news cycle for a few years now.
But not without reason. In a 2011 study, the CDC referred to a growing body of evidence that suggests prolonged periods of sitting are likely related to health risks like premature mortality, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, obesity and cancer.
For a large population of U.S. adults, nearly 60% of waking hours are spent without any physical activity, according to a study from 2008. In other words, many of us spend most of our days sitting down and chances are it’s greatly increasing our risk for a long list of negative health effects.
Unfortunately, none of this changes the fact that you still have to go to work. So, unless you’re ready to make a career change that would entirely alter your lifestyle, you might want to think about what you can do to increase your activity levels throughout the course of your day.
The good news is you don’t need to increase your movement by that much, especially if you already have an established exercise routine. It’s not like you need to sprint around the block every hour to stay healthy, you just need to make sure that you’re standing up, stretching and moving around for a few minutes at a time every hour or so.
To help inspire you to move more during your work day, we’ve rounded up a list of ten ways you can easily increase your activity without sacrificing productivity.
Everyone is worried about what their coworkers will think if they get caught doing seated tricep dips or leg extensions at their desk, but what’s more important to you, your health or what a colleague thinks of you? Plus, if you explain to your office mates what you’re doing and why, chances are they’ll drop their judgments and join you. Seated exercises like tricep dips, shoulder extensions and even simple ankle flexing will increase your daily activity and also help to relieve muscle soreness and joint stiffness.
Skip the Lift
I know. You’ve heard it a million times; skip the elevator and take the stairs. But instead of just thinking about it, really do it. Don’t make excuses like, it’s too hot out today, my bag is too heavy or I already went to the gym this morning. It doesn’t matter; your body needs the extra activity. And don’t make taking the stairs an occasional occurrence. Do it every day, every time you enter the building and remember to walk down them too.