Sitting at your desk all day can hurt your health, but it’s easy to reduce that risk, an expert says.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of low-level exercise every week. That breaks down to 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
“The good news is those 30 minutes can be any fashion of things that you incorporate into your work day,” Dr. Daniel Vigil said in a news release from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
“The point is to move throughout the day, preferably at least once an hour,” he added. Vigil is an associate clinical professor of family medicine and orthopaedic surgery at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
Need motivation to get out of the chair? Remember: Inactivity puts you at increased risk for heart attack, stroke and even death. These tips will help you be more active:
- Move your wastebasket and other essentials away from your desk. Walk to a colleague’s desk instead of emailing or phoning. Take the stairs to a restroom on another floor.
- Use resistance bands to do foot curls and arm stretches at your desk, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. When standing in line, stretch your neck and shoulders, and bend your knees for flexibility.
- If a meeting lasts longer than 90 minutes, take a five-minute stretch break at the mid-point.
- Park your car farther from the building. If you take public transit, get off a few blocks before your destination and walk the rest of the way.
- Download apps that encourage you to be active, such as those that count your daily steps or remind you to move while at your desk.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers a guide to physical activity.