Does exercise alone make you active?

14 Oct

Earlier in the week I read this article titled Sentenced to the Chair from Men’s Health.  It was pretty interested and basically said that no matter if you exercise each day, it can’t make up for all the hours you are sedentary.  People with full time jobs where they sit at a desk all day are the people they are talking about in the article.

monitorThe article also mentioned a study that looked at how many steps Americans and many European counties took.  The results showed that the more active you were in daily life, the better you were in the long run compared to those that were sedentary most of the day and had “planned exercise”.

Sadly I am one of those with many sedentary hours.  My job leaves me sitting almost all day long.  After reading this article I’ve already made some changes at work to make me more active throughout the day. 

Get up at least once an hour.  That’s a pretty simple goal, but I know I can get pulled into a project staring at my computer for more than an hour.  What I do to make sure I get up at least once an hours is to drink a boat load of water each day.  That way my body makes me get up and run to the rest room.

File more often.  This is a part of my job that isn’t very fun but this week I haven’t minded filing one bit.  I get to stand or kneel while I file so I’m not sitting around.

Instead of calling to ask a question, get up and walk to the person’s office.  It can be so much easier and quicker to just call someone in the office when you have a question, but I’m trying to make a point to walk over to them.

Take a stretch break mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  I did this for a while back in the summer and am going to implement it  back starting today.  Sitting in a chair for so long can really make you feel stiff so I’ll be stretching my entire body for about 5-10 minutes a day.

Those are just a few little changes that will add up throughout the day and make me feel better because I’m not just sitting all day.

I’ve also been really trying not to slump over towards my computer.  If I keep my abs engaged and shoulders back I end up feeling less stiff in my upper back.

What’s your activity level like through out the day?  Do you take any extra actions to move more each day?

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12 Responses to “Does exercise alone make you active?”

  1. Naomi(onefitfoodie) October 14, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    great tips!!! as a trainer in a corporate fitness center we always try to educate employees of simple ways to add exercise to their day like taking the elevator, walking to answer squestions, parking farther away from the building etc

  2. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday October 14, 2010 at 5:16 am #

    Oh boy, I am DOOMED. I sit all day long. I hate it though, I really do.

  3. Lily @ Lily's Health Pad October 14, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    I’m definitely sedentary all day at work. 😦

    I’m so itching to exercise by the end of the day that I literally get cranky if I can’t get some movement in.

    Interesting article.

  4. Freckled Foodie October 14, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    I get SO stir crazy at my desk during the day. I have to get up and walk alot…especially since i drink so much water 🙂 even if it’s only to the bathroom and back. haha.

  5. Kristen (swanky dietitian) October 14, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    My job requires me to sit most the day as well. Also since I work 10 hour days, I am definitely being more sedentary.
    I do walk around here and there but definitely not as much as I should.

  6. Erica October 14, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    ugh, I know! Most of us do have desk jobs that leave us sitting. I recently moved to working from home and it allows me a lot more opportunity to get up and MOVE. I try to do something small every 2 hours that gets me out of my chair. It makes me happier and healthier!

  7. Angela (the diet book junkie) October 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    i’ve read about this too!! it’s funny how 50 years ago, exercise and work were the same thing, now exercise is virtually a luxury. my doctor once told me it’s also a reason why we’re so injured: we sit around all day NOT using our muscles, then we get up abruptly and run 5ks. not good, apparently. :p

  8. Lesley Lifting Life October 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm #

    I’m with you … I’m on my bum all day staring at a computer.

    Your tips are great, I totally agree. My department actually just started a twice a day stretch program, which is good … helps us all the get up and move and promotes a more active work environment.

  9. Andrea@WellnessNotes October 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Great point and great tips! I think being really conscious that it’s important to move more throughout the day even if you are required to sit a lot, really makes a difference and adds up.

  10. brandi October 15, 2010 at 5:02 am #

    Great tips!

    My job is all computer, all the time, so I know the feeling.

    I use the bathroom downstairs, which makes me walk farther and take the stairs instead of just going down the hall. We park far away. And I try to take regular break to go talk with coworkers instead of emailing. It’s fun and gets me out of my chair!

  11. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 15, 2010 at 5:49 am #

    We’re thinking along the same lines. I am not going to be able to fit in formal exercise the next few days and wrote about how that doesn’t mean I won’t be active for my post today that will go up at 11. Activity during the day is so important!


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    […] I’m even going to try to do them at my work’s kitchen.  Every little bit helps me move more each day. […]

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