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Sit Less, Move More

November 16, 2012 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Recently there has been an abundance of literature, news, and other media focussed around the detrimental effects that sedentary behaviour has towards our health. Scientists are now focussing on a whole new and very interesting area of research termed “sedentary physiology” which closely examines the impacts that sedentary behaviour has on our physical as well as mental health. What is sedentary behaviour?

It’s the opposite of active behaviour. It’s characterized by prolonged periods of inactivity or very little physical movement while awake. General examples of this is sitting or reclining. This type of behaviour significantly increases our risk for premature death and chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease (including: heart disease, hypertension, & stroke) diabetes, cancer, mental health disorders and a long list of other conditions that could be prevented by sitting less and moving more!

Here are some tips to help you move more every day:

  • Get out of your seat every 20-30 minutes and stretch or do some calisthenics (e.g. push-ups, squats, lunges, jumping jacks etc.) or go for a brisk walk or climb a few stairs
  • Consider adopting a standing workstation. I have started standing at my desk and it’s one of the best things I have ever done! My body hates sitting now and it’s my mission to help as many people stand more and sit less every day to better fight the continual uphill battle life presents.
  • Have active meetings (go for a walk and talk)
  • Do some exercises at your desk or chair every hour.

It’s clear that by moving more we’re able to improve our health, productivity, mental function, well-being, and overall quality of life... So don't just sit there... get up and move! I will leave you with a quote that has really hit home for me and is starting to be passed around more and more: “It doesn't matter how fast you go; you are still lapping everyone on the couch!”

Keep Positive, Keep Smiling, and KEEP MOVING!


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Comments (2)

WellnessFits

Posted on Tuesday November 27, 2012 a 3:43pm

Those are some great tips for incorporating more physical activity into the work day! Another way to add physical activity into your work day is to build it into your commute to and from work. If you drive to work, park a few blocks away from the office, or if you take transit, get off a few stops earlier and walk the rest.

If you want to challenge and motivate yourself to move more at work, try wearing a pedometer to track the number of steps you take throughout the day. You can set a personal goal for the number of steps you want to achieve, or try challenging your coworkers to a friendly competition!

To learn more about becoming more active at work and other ways you can make your workplace healthier, check out the WellnessFits program (www.wellnessfits.ca). WellnessFits, a partnership of the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon and the Province of British Columbia’s Healthy Families BC initiative, offers businesses and organizations the resources and support they need to create healthy workplace programs. Check it out and share it with your Human Resources department or senior management team.

hurrell's picture

Healthy Families BC

Posted on Wednesday November 28, 2012 a 1:27pm

Dear Wellness Fits, Thanks for liking the post and an even bigger thanks for providing some other valuable tips to increase physical activity throughout the day. "Little by little, a little becomes a lot!" Pedometers are awesome for motivating individuals to become more physically active as they provide immediate biofeedback (e.g. number of steps taken) to help motivate people to move more every day. PartcipACTION has a great pedometer program and they use the best pedometers... Find our more info here: http://www.participaction.com/programs-events/programs/pedometer-program/ wellnessfits.ca is also an amazing resource and all workplaces who use it should benefit greatly. Keep positive, Keep Smiling, and KEEP MOVING! Sincerely, Marc.

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