Walk More, Sit Less

You’ve probably heard the saying “take a load off,” but did you know sitting for too long might be bad for you? Research shows that prolonged sitting can be detrimental to your health. Think about it — we already know inactivity can be a risk factor for conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Well eventually, these types of health issues can lead to premature death. So, what can we do, especially when most of us work sedentary jobs — we all need to work, right?

Man and woman walking

The simple fix is to move more and sit less! In fact, scientists have found that walking can increase energy levels by 150 percent — an added bonus! Even 10 to 20 minutes of walking or another light activity are enough to improve your blood sugar level and increase your energy. By making smart choices about the foods you eat and choosing to be more active each day, you can improve your health.

Here are some ways you can move more and sit less:

  • Take the bus instead of your car. If you must take your car, park as far away from the door as possible.
  • Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
  • When you’re at work, limit the time you sit at your desk. Plan to get up every two hours — drop items in the mail, restock shelves or take the long way to the bathroom or lunchroom. Even short two- to three-minute breaks can help improve your metabolism and insulin levels.
  • Stand when you talk on the phone or during meetings. Do heel-toe raises or chair pushups when you’re reading.
  • Schedule meetings in your co-worker’s office or cubicle, so you have to walk to get there.
  • Ask if your next meeting can be accomplished while walking to a park, walking the halls or walking side by side on treadmills at the gym.
  • Play catch or tag with your kids or pets for 10 minutes before or after dinner.
  • Pack a healthy lunch and take a 10-minute walk to the park to eat it.
  • Spend 15 minutes each day cleaning a small room or space in your home. Even this amount of increased activity helps manage your health in the long run.
  • Ok — this last one may sound funny, but no one will know. When you go to the bathroom, complete 20 squats before you leave. It’s weird, but you can totally do it and it will make a difference. I do it all the time!
Denver Health Medical Plan Staff Writer