If there’s one thing that most Americans have in common, it’s that we live sedentary lifestyles. From commuting to work and spending hours behind a computer, to watching TV or surfing the internet after work, health experts have long warned that we simply sit too much.
In fact, medical experts estimate that the average worker sits for about 10 hours a day, between work and home. Complicating matters, according to the CDC, only about one in five Americans meet the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity every day. These numbers are alarming as sedentary lifestyles have been proven to lead to a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers.
But the good news is there are some easy ways to make your day more active. And since so much of our day is spent at work, sitting down, UP Health System – Marquette has compiled with some simple tips that will help you work more physical activity into your workday:
- Stand up to take phone calls.
- Hold standing meetings.
- Hold walking meetings.
- Set a timer to remind you to stand up and stretch or take a walk every hour.
- Take a 30 minute walk during your lunch hour.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Park a little farther away from the front door.
- Consider walking or biking to work, if feasible.
The easiest way to start is to pick one or two of the ideas above, and add them to your daily routine. Once these new behaviors have turned into habits, add another. Overtime, these small changes will add up to big results in terms of your heart health.
Challenge: If you really want to shake things up, look for a nearby park or gym and consider adding a daily walk or lunchtime exercise class to your day.
Always talk to your primary care provider about your diet and exercise plan. If you need to find a provider, use our online Find a Doctor tool.