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Why You Need to Step Away from Your Desk

Written on May 27, 2011 at 9:21 am , by

Photo by Sara Forrest

Well don't just sit there! (Photo by Sara Forrest)

Are you sitting down for this? You probably shouldn’t be. A review of work-related physical activity over the last five decades found that the number of jobs requiring moderate activity has declined to only 20 percent; the other 80 percent of jobs are sedentary or require only light movement.

Since we’re sitting here typing this right now, this isn’t really shocking news. So what does it mean for us with desk jobs? It means that trying to watch your diet and going to the gym before or after work isn’t quite enough to stay fit. Ross C. Brownson, an epidemiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, who was cited in the study, points to the need “to broaden our definition of physical activity” beyond the traditional planned time we devote to our workout and to find ways to sneak more exercise in our daily routine.

Here are some quick ways to make sure you’re up and about:

  • Set up a reminder every hour for you to get up and move around.
  • Move printers farther away from your desk.
  • Invite a coworker to walk around on your lunch break.
  • Stand up and stretch during long conference calls.
  • Do a 10-minute workout and quick yoga moves at your cube.

Now tell us: How do you sneak in more activity at work? Share your tips!

  • http://www.sistasofstrength.com Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength

    I always encourage people to get up and walk around during work. I used to fall into the trap of sitting all day and I felt so lethargic by the afternoon. Now I try to get up at lunch a bit and also go for a walk in the afternoon for anywhere from 15-45 minutes depending on the day. I work out before work so that there is no excuse to skip it, but I’ve found that getting up for breaks is important too!

  • Diane Cheek

    I keep a set of dumbells and a band at my desk and get up every now and then and work on my arms. I also make it a point to get up walk around campus everyday. Can’t sit at that desk all day long without movement. It works for me.

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