We spend a lot of time sitting. Whether it’s at our desks, in front of our tv, or in the car – most of our time is not spent being physically active. Only 26 percent of men and 19 percent of women meet the recommended amount of activity of 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. Physical activity is one of the most important things a person can do to help curb obesity, lower your chances of heart disease, and even improve your mental health. April is Move More Month and the American Heart Association is urging all Americans to get up from their desks and move a little more.
Most adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work and find themselves with little time or energy left at the end of the day to exercise. Experts say those who struggle to carve out time for a separate workout should use any opportunity to sneak in physical activity throughout the day. Focusing on moving more and sitting less throughout the day can help – there is benefit to any physical activity regardless of the length of the activity.
April, known as Move More Month, is an opportunity to examine personal habits and strive to incorporate additional daily activity.
Here are some ideas to incorporate more movement into the work day from the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good™ initiative:
- Take a walk on your lunch break. Don’t focus on the step count or the minutes, just move more when your schedule allows.
- Increase your activity in simple ways around the office. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farthest from the door in the parking lot, convert conference room meetings to walking meetings or get up and walk to someone’s desk instead of sending email.
- Schedule exercise on your calendar. Add exercise to your calendar and treat your scheduled time like an important meeting.
- Find a partner. Having a partner to keep you accountable and motivated can be the key to keeping your healthy habits moving forward.
- Take advantage of workplace wellness Ask your supervisor or human resources department what employee wellness resources and incentives are available.
Starting a journey to be more active at work can inspire colleagues and lead to a healthier workplace in addition to boosting personal health and wellbeing. Visit www.heart.org/movemoremonth for more tips and resources. If you are looking to get involved with the American Heart Association, check out our local events like the New Hampshire Heart Walk at nhheartwalk.org or the New Hampshire Heart Ball at nhheartball.heart.org.