Staying Healthy at Your Desk Job

More and more Americans are becoming very sedentary.  In fact, according to a Ball State University study, adults are sedentary for 64 percent of the time they are awake.  In short, that means nearly two-thirds of their waking hours are spent sitting or lying down.

This may go without saying, but researchers in this recent study found exercise alone is not enough activity to maintain a healthy body.   “Our study found most adults simply aren’t moving, and that’s because many of our jobs are done in a seated position while working at a computer or something similar,” said Alex Montoye, a clinical exercise physiology professor in Ball State’s Human Performance Laboratory.  Many workers go home, and they spend even more time sitting… whether it be in front of a screen, such as television, smart phone, or computer.

Researchers say being sedentary is much different than just being more active.  For example, just because a person exercises for a half hour or hour every day does not mean they can be sedentary the rest of the time.  We need to get up and move throughout the day as well to maintain good health habits. Even standing up and moving around for just one or two minutes every 30 or 60 minutes a day breaks up this sedentary behavior.  In short, adults must be more active and less sedentary to achieve good health.  Sedentary behavior can put you at an increased risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, colon and rectal cancer, and even premature death.

Reducing Sedentary Behavior

The research team offers a few tips to reduce sedentary behavior:

  • Take a short walk around the office or home once an hour.
  • Speak to a colleague in person instead of on the phone or the computer.
  • Stand up while on a phone call.
  • Use a standing desk.
  • Do short bursts of exercise for a minute each hour while watching TV or working on a computer.

Health experts reiterate how important it is to make these small changes in our daily habits.  They will make a big difference over time.  So…. in conclusion:  Get up and move!

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