While those 30 to 40 minutes of exercise each day are important, studies are beginning to show that even if you engage in regular exercise daily, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day. Steven Blair, a professor of public health at the University of South Carolina has spent 40 years investigating physical activity and health. One of his studies found that men who reported more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than those who reported less than 11hours a week of sedentary activity. And many of the men in this study routinely exercised.
Most of us have sedentary jobs and when we arrive home we sit some more. While we may get in some physical activity throughout the day, work takes up a significant part of the day. There are things many of us can do at work to get us moving and break up a day of inactivity.
- When the weather cooperates take a walk while brainstorming project ideas with a co-worker.
- Stand while talking on the telephone.
- Walk down the hall to speak with someone rather than using the telephone or email.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.
- Schedule an activity break on your calendar and treat it as any other important appointment.
- If you take public transportation, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home.
- Walk around during the work day at break or during lunch.
For more ideas on how to build activity into your work day, on the web check out Exercise at your Desk and the book Instant Recess .