It’s not news that we’re having an obesity epidemic. Contributing factors include extra-large portions, too many processed foods and…our jobs? New research published in the journal PLOS One (Public Library of Science) shows that a drop in physical activity in the workplace also plays a role in our growing waistlines. Research also indicates that desk potatoes are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack! Here are 5 ways to make sure you move throughout your work day.
#1: Take Breaks Often
Take one 10 to 15 minute break every hour to walk around, stretch or grab some water. Find a quiet corner to do some jumping jacks, lunges, yoga moves or whatever you enjoy—don’t be shy!
#2: Office Stretch Time
When Dana and I worked at a desk job for an online company, the CEO was very excited when we suggested a 15- to 20-minute stretching and yoga session three days a week. He bought yoga mats for the office and Dana (also a certified athletic trainer) led everyone in some relaxing moves.
#3: Face to Face Communication
These days office communication consists of emails, texts and instant messages. While these are all effective ways to communicate, they won’t get you moving. If you find yourself having a lengthy IM session, stand up and have a conversation with the person instead. Along the same lines, if you find yourself writing paragraphs-long emails, call the person and stand up during the conversation.
#4: Lunch Time Walk
Instead of taking a break to sit and talk with co-workers at lunch, take 20 minutes to walk around the neighborhood. You can always talk and walk with your work friends.
#5: Stand-Up Desk
My father just installed one in his office, and some offices around the country are purchasing stand up workstations for their employees. I’ve even heard of some offices purchasing very slow moving treadmills for the desk, where you walk and work at the same time.
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »
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How do you stay active at work? Tell us in the comments below.