Combat the dangers of sitting: Add movement to your workday

You’ve probably heard that too much sitting is bad for your health.

According to the Mayo Clinic , sitting for long periods of time is linked with obesity and metabolic syndrome as well as an increase in the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Sitting for too long can also increase pain by tightening muscles and stiffening joints.

What can you do if you spend your workdays at a desk? The answer is simple – take frequent breaks, and find ways to sit less.

Take steps to sit less

The good news is there are many steps you and your employees can take to break down the culture of prolonged sitting.

Here are four ideas for reducing chair time:

  • Get up and move.
    Find the time to move and stretch throughout the workday. Give yourself a time limit in your chair and make it a priority to stand up and give your body a break from sitting. Check out our Get up and Move poster for ideas of stretches you can do in a few minutes.
  • Make exercise part of your routine.
    An analysis of 13 studies on the effects of a sedentary lifestyle published in The Lancet suggests that 60-75 minutes of moderate physical activity per day could eliminate the increased risks of sitting all day for work, but even smaller amounts of exercise can benefit your health and well-being. Exercise is cumulative, so three 10-minute walks spread throughout the day are as valuable as one 30-minute walk.
  • Walk and talk.
    Before you gather around a table for that next meeting, consider combining it with a walk outside or around your workplace. If you’re working from home, maybe you can walk around your house during conference calls.
  • Be aware of how much time you and your coworkers spend sitting.
    Start a friendly challenge to see who can get the most steps in. Make it a goal to learn which activities you can perform while standing or on the move.


With a combined approach and a little creativity, you can significantly reduce the amount of time you and your employees spend in a sedentary position and get on a path toward better health.

If you’d like more ideas, see our Get Up and Move page for videos and posters with stretches you can do at your desk, and many more free resources.

 

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