If you spend most of your day on your derrière the rest of your body will pay the price, say researchers who, after strapping motion-tracking devices to almost 5 000 adults for a week, found that Americans sit for an average of almost 8,5 hours a day. While longer, active breaks are probably best, even getting up briefly helps.
Dr Pamela Peeke, author of Body For Life For Women (Rodale International Ltd) says: ‘Think of activity as a piggy bank. Ten minutes here, five minutes there go towards that 30-minutes-a-day goal.’ Tossing a Frisbee in the garden or a five-minute march from the office to the car counts. A 10-minute walk after each meal or a 15-minute stroll with your dog before and after work will do it for you too.
Here are some more simple suggestions to try:
- Take phone calls on your feet and walk over to colleagues to talk to them.
- Start with 10-minute chunks – say, a pre-breakfast dumbbell session, a lunchtime walk and a post-dinner neighbourhood lap with the family. These will add up – and show that if you commit to being fit, you can find time.
- Park your car further away from your workplace.
- Stretch or do light strengthening exercises at your desk.
- Take the long route every time you go to the rest room, the copy machine, a co-worker’s office and so on.
- Sit on a stability ball at your desk for an hour or two a day.