Health Advocate Blog

Get Up from Your Desk and Keep Moving

Did you know that sitting less could be good for your health?  An article on cited a recent study in the journal Diabetologia that suggests reducing your sitting time could be more important than exercise when it comes to lowering your risk of diabetes.  The new results, however, should not replace standard recommendations for exercise, and more research is required, according to the authors. But still, this information could be a good reason to get up and get moving!

For many people who have desk jobs, your ability to move around during the day can be limited. But the good news is that even if you spend most of your time behind a desk, there are many ways you can take brief breaks to incorporate some mild activity into your daily office routine.  Health Advocate offers the following tips on ways you can be more mobile during the workday.

Don’t sit during your whole lunch break. Instead of sitting for your allotted lunch hour, take some time to eat for the first half and then squeeze in a short walk during the second half. Walk outside if the weather is pleasant, or take a walk inside the building. Consider taking a few trips up and down the stairs, too.

Don’t use the elevator. If you’re headed to a meeting on another floor, use the stairs.

Split up office errands. If you have to give a file to someone in accounting or you need to drop off a package to be shipped, make several trips throughout your day instead of doing all of these errands at once. This gives you more reasons to get up and move around.

Tag along with a colleague. Take a stroll to the break room with a buddy. This is a quick and easy way to incorporate more physical activity in your day.

Substitute walks for email. Instead of emailing colleagues, walk over to colleagues and talk to them.

Stretch it out. Get up from your desk and take a stretch break. Try shrugging your shoulders to release neck and shoulder tension, or stretch muscles in the upper body by doing a torso twist.

Fit in more steps.  Do you drive to work?  If so, park farther away from your office door so that you have to do a little more walking from your car to your building.

You don’t need long periods of time to fit in more mobility during your workday.  Short bursts of activity are better than the alternative—no activity at all.  If you are a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching service, give us a call!  A Wellness Coach can give you more advice about how to stay active during your workday, plus answer other questions you might have about getting started with exercise, eating healthier, reducing stress, and much more.