Are you sitting too much?

There has been a lot of discussion lately about inactivity and sedentary lifestyles among adults. Physical inactivity and sedentary living contribute to chronic disease risk and a recent study found that only 15% of adults were meeting physical activity guidelines. Did you know that you can be both physically active AND sedentary?

Physical inactivity occurs when you do not meet physical activity guidelines. Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for global mortality.

A sedentary lifestyle refers to long periods of time sitting or lying down. For example, time spent in cars, at your desk, or in front of the TV.

What are physical activity guidelines?

Aerobic exercise: 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week in sessions of at least 10 minutes or more. For example, if you went for 2-15 minute walks with your coffee breaks every day at work, you would meet the aerobic guidelines.

Resistance exercise: 2-3 sessions per week that focus on the full body. If you are doing split workouts you can lift weights more often.

Flexibility: 2-7 sessions per week; ideally these are completed after aerobic and resistance exercise sessions.

Physically Active and Sedentary?

If you meet physical activity guidelines but sit at your desk all day, you are still considered sedentary! Try to add more movement to your day to break up sedentary time. This will also help you meet physical activity guidelines more often.

Tips for Limiting Sedentary Time

  • Walk & Talk: try walking meetings with colleagues or grab your coffee to go when meeting a friend instead of sitting down
  • Move Every Hour: set a timer to remind you to move. Try to move for at least 5 minutes every hour. Some wearable technology will allow you to set a reminder (Jawbone, Garmin, etc.)
  • Tweak Your Week: purposefully make your week a little harder so that you have to move more
    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
    • Send documents to a printer farther from your desk
    • Get off the bus a stop early
    • Park farther away from the front door


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