Turn your workday into a workout

The human body is not made for sitting, yet many of us sit for eight or more hours a day at work. Even if you exercise regularly, sitting for long periods of time is not good for your health. The US Physical Activity Guidelines recommend regular physical activity.

To encourage people to get up and move more during the workday, we created the Workday Workout poster. With graphics and text, it presents five ways to get a workout during the workday.

When it comes to workday workouts, everything counts! A workout can be anything from five minutes of stretching to an hour of step aerobics.

Here are nine teaching tips to go along with the Workday Workout poster:

  1. Set the example. Plan a walking lunch-and-learn or a walking counseling session. If that’s not possible, fit in some short movement breaks. People will notice how good they feel after they get up and move.
  2. Count steps. You can’t change what you don’t monitor. Track your steps during the workday using a pedometer, fitness tracker (like FitBit), or your smartphone. Work on increasing this number by using some of the strategies on our poster.
  3. Log it. Keep a log of when you choose to move at work. This can be as simple as putting a checkmark on paper every time you stand up to talk on the phone, walk to a co-worker’s office instead of sending an email or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  4. Find a buddy. Get a co-worker to join you in moving more throughout the day. Meet to walk during lunch, send each other reminders and encouraging messages, share successes and talk through challenges.
  5. Identify obstacles. What one thing seems to be holding you back? A new headset so you can stand up and move around when talking on the phone? An extra pair of sneakers to keep under your desk?
  6. Set reminders. Use your watch, phone, computer, or an old-fashioned timer to remind you to get up and move once every hour.
  7. Share ideas. Ask your social media friends and followers to share how they get moving during the workday. Someone might see an idea that would work for them, too.
  8. Find a way. If you can’t walk to work, could you walk around the block before leaving for work? If you can’t go to a gym during lunchtime, could you do a YouTube video in an empty conference room or your office?
  9. Have fun. Close your office door, put on your favorite song, and move!

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updated on 10-1-2020