Staying active is a key way to stay healthy and energized. But what if going to the gym isn’t your thing? Sitting too long is said to be as bad for you as smoking. What if your job requires you to sit? The good news is you can be active your way and still be healthy.
Move a little, more often
Do you have some flexibility in what you do during the day? A good approach to moving more could be to add a little activity throughout your day. Take short walks a few times each day. Get up and do some quick exercises every hour. The key is to avoid sitting for long periods of time. If you need a reminder, consider setting an alarm or a pop up on your computer.
Move a lot, less often
Sitting is bad, but your job doesn’t allow enough flexibility to avoid it – what do you do? A recent review suggests that you can reverse the down side of all that sitting with an hour or more of moderate exercise each day. Moderate means it will be an actual workout with sweat. Think of a jog instead of a leisurely walk. The only exception is for TV watching. If you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a TV (more than 5 hours a day), exercise won’t help enough to see health benefits.
Don’t worry if the latest recommendation around exercise doesn’t work for you. The key is to move more. If the gym works for you, great! If a treadmill desk is your thing, go for it. Not sure if you are moving enough? Consider tracking it with an app, wearable or both.
RESOURCE:1. Ek elund, Ulf et al. Does physical activity attenuate, or even eliminate, the detrimental association of sitting time with mortality? A harmonised meta-analysis of data from more than 1 million men and women. The Lancet , Volume 388 , Issue 10051 , 1302 – 1310
Written by Jennifer M. Roberts, MS, RD.