A 2008 study found that U.S. adults spend nearly 60 percent of their waking hours without any physical activity.
This is a problem because a growing body of research continues to reveal that a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of exercise are associated with health risks such as metabolic syndrome, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even premature mortality.
Do you spend most of your day sitting at a desk? Don't worry.
There are plenty of simple things you an do to make sure that you'll move more during your work day, including using your lunch break as an opportunity to exercise.
According to one recent study, about 20 minutes of exercise a day is all you need to reap the life-lengthening benefits of daily exercise. And much research supports that breaking that time up into multiple sessions elicits the same results.
Do the math: that's just two 10-minute sessions over the course of 24 hours.
Whether you have an entire hour or just a few minutes to spare, below, we've outlined six easy and creative ways that you can get a workout in on your lunch break.
1. Step it up.
If you only have a few minutes to get your heart rate up during a work day break, find a stairwell in your building and walk up and down a few flights several times. You won't have to go very far, so if you're especially busy you can get back to work right away.
2. Walk it out.
Alright, it's not the most innovative of exercises, but walking is one of the most simple ways to add some activity to your work day. Plus, how many times do you promise to leave the office for a break, only to end up eating lunch at your desk and getting so swamped with a project that you forgot to take a breather entirely? Try setting an alarm on your phone or scheduling a "walk break" with a co-worker to get yourself to commit.
Whether you want to head to a nearby studio or you can find some free space in your office, yoga makes for a great way to work out on your lunch break. Transition time will be kept to a minimum since you likely won't work up much of a sweat and since yoga is known to help reduce stress, you can look forward to returning to your desk with a clear, calm mind.
4. Press play.
YouTube is filled with a wide variety of workout routines led by personal trainers. If you're crunched for time or need to be near your desk but still want to get some activity in, just search for an equipment-free workout, press the play button, and follow along.
Click here to see the best workout channels on YouTube.
5. Bodyweight workouts.
If you have a bit more time to spare and some extra space to jump around, why not utilize your lunch break to perform an equipment-free bodyweight circuit workout? Research shows that large muscle group resistance exercises, like those included in this high-intensity circuit training workout may have a greater impact on subcutaneous fat loss and that the accrued metabolic benefits can persist for up to 72 hours after exercising.