Last year, a new study showed that sitting all day—even if you regularly exercise—has a pretty profound, negative impact on your health. Companies are trying to combat this with solutions to keep you active throughout the day. Standing desks are becoming more prevalent and even wearables are recognizing the need to spur change. The key is finding excuses to get up and walk around at regular intervals during the day. In an effort to motivate, we’ve pulled together a list of tools and excuses to get out of your chair.
1. Hourly Activity Feature for Fitbit
If you’re a Fitbit owner, you may be aware that this month, the company released a new feature to track “Stationary Time.” Their data showed that users would sit still, on average, for a 90-minute period of time. Throughout the day that meant up to seven sedentary hours. Walking every few hours can combat the negative effects of the sedentary time. In a company blog post, Fitbit says people should “aim to also take 250 steps each hour, which is roughly two to three minutes of walking.” Their app will track both a user’s “Hourly Activity Time” and “Stationary Time.” If you’re someone who likes tracking stats, this just might be the motivation you need to get moving every hour. Fitbit also has in-app competition options. Nothing quite spurs you to walk an extra five minutes in the afternoon than seeing your friend inch ahead in the number of steps taken on a given day.
2. Walk to Get Your Lunch
For those living in big cities, it can be an easy force of habit to order food for lunch and get it delivered to your desk. Whether it’s through seamless, UberEATS or a generous coworker, this act is only rewarding your sedentary routine. Get outside and walk to a local spot to pick up your lunch. You’ll save on the delivery fee and you’ll have a chance to get a little vitamin D from the sun. If you brought your lunch from home, make it a goal to still get a bit of fresh air. Research even shows that time spent walking outside can improve memory and attention.
3. Walk and Talk
When meeting with a colleague, instead of sitting in the office, see if they’d like to “walk and talk” with you. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was well known for taking a walk while having important discussions, and research says it promotes more creative thinking. There are other benefits, too. The Harvard Business Review writes, “Plenty of anecdotal evidence also suggests that walking meetings lead to more honest exchanges with employees and are more productive than traditional sit-down meetings.”
4. Take the Stairs—Often
If feasible based on your office location, take the stairs as you come and go each day. You’ll avoid waiting in lines for the elevator, and stairs are a great way to get the heart rate up without sweating to a point that requires an outfit change. We feel the best way to take advantage of stairwells, however, is to use them throughout the day—even if you’re not going anywhere. Every hour, take a break from your desk and walk up five flights and come back down. It’s a discreet way to get moving and not leave your building. It also can be done no matter what floor you work on.
5. Drink a lot of Water
It’s rare that people consume the amount of water recommend on a daily basis. Make it a goal to have a constantly filled water bottle at your desk. It will encourage you to drink throughout the day, and each time you finish the bottle, you will need to refill it—prompting you to get up and walk around.
Photo Credit: FitBit
Author: Allison Klibanoff