Getting Your Move On!
By: Teresa Bartko, Certified Medical Exercise Specialist
Our desk jobs, commuting, watching TV, and playing video games all conspire to keep us sedentary which takes a toll on our health. Even those of us who exercise regularly spend the majority of our work day planted in a chair in front of a computer. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Sitting too long is now becoming equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day”…sitting is the new smoking… Yikes!! Any prolonged sitting…behind a desk, a computer, a wheel, etc… can be harmful and increases the risk for conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, back pain, depression and the list goes on…. The solution is to reduce our sedentary behavior and add more movement in while we are at work and through our entire day.
Move Moment #1
Bluntly put…sitting all day is killing us! According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works 44 hours per week, or 8.8 hours per day. A 2014 national Gallup poll put the average number at 47 hours per week, or 9.4 hours per day, with many saying they work 50 hours per week. And we are sitting for most of that time. When we chronically sit, the electrical activity in our leg muscles shuts off, and our risk for disease due to poor circulation increases. The solution is to get up and move!
The good news is that less sitting and more moving, even just a little, contributes to better health. Studies show that workers who increased their activity and got up from their desks frequently during their work day to get coffee, go to the bathroom, or just walk up and down a flight of stairs, significantly improved their health. Try these tips to get active!
- Refill your water
- Get up to make coffee or tea
- Take a quick walk
- Have a walking meeting
- Answer an email in person
- Grab something off the printer
- Stand while you talk on the phone
- Do light stretches
- Do a Move Moment!
Move Moment #2
Move Moment #3
Move Moment #4
Staying Active at the Office!
Getting your move on, even at the office, can sometimes be hard. But just know it’s worth it! The first step is always the hardest, but once you commit to doing something you’ll enjoy the benefits and the way you feel. Choose one small thing you can do to get your move on at work and stick with it! You’ll thank yourself later. Small choices can make a healthier you.
About the Author
Teresa Bartko is the Exercise Specialist at the Center for Health Improvement in Horizon West. She has a Bachelor of Science in Dance and a Graduate Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine. She is also a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist and a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance.