Move More, Sit Less
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If you have a desk job, you likely spend the majority of your day sitting. After work, the sitting might continue as you watch your favorite TV show or play on your phone.
Did you know all that sitting could be putting your health at risk? In fact, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, depression and even certain cancers.
While changing your job may not be an option, there are small things you can do throughout the day to be more physically active. Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainers Debi Wilkins and Aaron Feldman offer suggestions on ways you can move more.
“The first step to combatting physical inactivity at work is educating companies and their employees on the benefits of exercise,” says Wilkins. “Companies can encourage employees to schedule walking meetings, move the printer further from the desks and host fitness challenges each month to motivate their employees.”
If you have a desk job, Wilkins suggests adding small movements to your daily routine, which believe it or not, can make a difference. Start by checking your posture. Adjust your chair height until your feet are flat on the floor and your hips and arms are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Keep your core tight and engaged to support good posture throughout the day.
“We become so accustomed to sedentary jobs, we don’t realize it until an activity arises that demands a higher level of physical conditioning,” says Feldman. “It’s important to remember any bit of exercise helps and something is always better than nothing.”
Cooper Clinic recommends exercising 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. That equates to about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Don’t have a 30-minute break in your day? Wilkins suggests taking two or three 10-minute breaks instead.
“The endorphins released during exercise, even 10 minutes, will help employees have more energy, self-confidence, positive attitudes and less stress,” says Wilkins. “These are all beneficial for greater productivity in the workplace.”
Looking to move even more? Here are some recommended exercises you can do while at work.
- Desk Squats: Stand up and push your chair away from the desk. With your feet hip width apart, bend slightly at the knees, as if you were going to sit in your chair, then push back up to standing. Repeat 10 times.
- March in Place: Hold your abdominals tight as you march, lifting your knees toward the sky. Repeat 20 times.
- Seated Leg Raise: While seated, straighten one leg and hold in place for five seconds. Lower the leg slowly without letting the foot touch the ground. Repeat with the other leg. Perform 15 leg raises on each leg.
- Calf Raises: Stand at your desk with your feet together. Lift heels off the floor, lower back down and raise back up. Repeat 15 times.
- Desk Push-ups: Move your chair away from your desk, place your hands shoulder-distance apart on the edge of your desk. Keep your body in a straight line with your toes on ground, gently lower your body weight toward the desk and push your body weight away from your desk. Repeat 10 times.
For more information about personal training, visit cooperfitnesscenter.com or call 972.233.4832 for more details.