Get Fit Don’t Sit Day™ is May 2
by Aynsley Anderson, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
12 hours. That’s the average amount of time that a person sits or is sedentary each day in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) guidelines recommend that adults ages 18-64 need 150 minutes of physical activity every week. 80 percent of American adults do not meet the CDC recommendations.
Medical experts have started to informally refer to long periods of physical inactivity and the health consequences because of it, as “sitting disease.” James Levine, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic, has been quoted as saying, “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.”
The American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org) has designated May 2 as National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day™. Here are some tips on how to be more active during the work day.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park far away from the door.
- Get up frequently and take a walk around the office. Try to move for at least five out of every 30 minutes.
- If you can’t walk away from your work station, stand up and stretch at your desk or stand and continue to work if you are able to.
- Talk with your employer about the possibility of having a standing desk in your office area for everyone to share. Also, check out the possibility of sitting on a stability ball for part of the day.
- Walk during your breaks and at lunch. If you have a sedentary job, you should not sit during breaks.
- Where able, use a speaker, headset, or mobile phone so you can walk during phone calls or conference calls.
- Do frequent chair exercises while sitting at your desk. Exercise examples can be found at https://bit.ly/2Htq8Oa.
- Be fidgety where appropriate. Tap or wiggle your feet while sitting.
- If you have a sedentary job, do not go home and sit after your work day. Be active – walk, ride a bike, do yard or house work. Keep moving as much as you can during the times you do not have to be sedentary.
Aynsley Anderson is a Wellness Specialist for Community Outreach and Engagement at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. She can be reached at Aynsley.Anderson@lmh.org.