Health Advocate Blog

Move your body: The best overall Rx!

More people are sitting for prolonged periods each day, whether at a desk, in front of a screen, or behind the wheel. Unfortunately, studies show that uninterrupted sitting can set you up for heart disease and other health problems. That’s true even if you exercise regularly! However, walking just five minutes every half hour during periods of prolonged sitting can offset some of the most harmful effects. So can brief periods of standing, stretching, or simply moving around. Try these suggestions to sit less and move more at work and at home throughout your day. You may find your moods, focus, and stress level improve, too!

Use reminders. Set a timer to get up and move at least once every hour to stretch or take a quick walk around the office or your neighborhood.

Move while on the phone. At work, pace, march in place, do 5-10 squats, or stretch. If at home,use a hands-free phone headset and tidy up–dust, sweep or mop.

Use a portion of your lunch break to take a walk. And get up periodically to go refill your water bottle.

Park far away from your destination. Take a lap around the building before entering. Once inside, skip the elevator and take the stairs.

Add extra steps to your daily chores. Put your purchases in smaller bags, making multiple trips to your house to bring them in. When folding laundry, put away just a few items at a time to increase your steps.

Use commercial TV breaks as exercise breaks. Dance, do jumping jacks, or try a few yoga poses.

Stand while fixing dinner. And then carry one item to the table at a time.

Get up and stretch after reading a chapter of a book (or several short chapters).

Plan a walking meeting with colleagues. And, when socializing, plan a walk-and-talk with friends.

Take your pooch out for a longer break. Don’t just let Rover out in the backyard—get active with him!

Take a play break with your kids! Take a spin on a bike, toss a Frisbee, pull some weeds—make it fun!

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